How To Winterize Your Palmetto Boat

Boats can be fun to have but they can also be a lot of work. Now that we’re headed towards winter and you’re putting your boat away, you’ll want to properly prep for the cold weather or you’ll see repair bills next spring that will require even more work.

Your main concern should be to get all the water of the Palmetto boat properly and be sure not to leave any water in there. You also want to make sure that you get all your fluids full because it could be very expensive if you end up doing something wrong. 

Rodney Good, a boat service professional, recommends adding a quality stabilizer to the fuel system first and then letting it work itself up to the carburetor or fuel injectors. Afterwards, you’ll want to pull the engine’s drain plug to get the water out. He also suggests that you physically pick out the debris or water will get trapped, freeze and possibly crack the engine block.

A lot of people make this mistake. They think that all the water is drained out, then they find out that they didn’t get enough water out and it freezes and breaks.

Many people turn this job task over to a professional because a brand new engine could cost thousands of dollars.

Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List recommends you find someone that specializes in boats instead of hiring a handyman or an auto mechanic. A typical Palmetto boat technician and a boat winterization will cost you around $300 to $400.

The job also typically includes a gear lube, oil change, battery charge and cooling system flush. Non-toxic anti-freeze is also ran through the system to treat any remaining water that happens to be hiding inside.

Your Palmetto boat then needs to be stored once it’s winterized. A climate controlled space would be the best choice, but if you’re leaving it outside you should probably find yourself a custom-fit cover or shrink wrap for the best protection.

Boat Winterization Checklist:

  • Prepare the fuel system/ top off tanks
  • Oil and gear lube need to be changed
  • Remove as much gear as you can
  • All water must be flushed out of the engine
  • Water tanks and holding need to be drained
  • Charge the battery
  • If storing outside, cover and shrink wrap
  • Add moisture absorbers and leave cabinets and interior doors open
  • Add moth balls and animal repellant
  • All mechanical systems need to be lubricated
  • Run anti-freeze that is non-toxic through system
  • Clean the deck and down below