Beat The Winter Boat Blues
Winterizing your vessel is a seasonal right of passage for boat owners.
Once boating season fades to a warm weather memory and sunny autumn days turn dark, blustery, wet and snowy…showing your KingFisher a little love is key!
Needless to say, a full wash down, scrub and post-season cleaning and polish is always Step One, but there’s six easy steps to getting your boat ready for hibernation. Or at least part-time winter standby if you’re a year-round user!
1. Fuel Stabilizer: Add a bottle of fuel stabilizer directly to your fuel tank and run your engine(s) in neutral for 15 minutes to circulate through system. Needless to say, this is a bad strategy if your power is sitting dry in your driveway!
2. Drain Water Tanks: When winter weather rolls you don’t want to get caught with water anywhere in your boat! Drain the raw water and fresh water tanks and don’t forget fish lockers or any other space where H2O might hide. This includes heads and showers.
3. Bring On The Anti-Freeze: Stay environmentally friendly and utilize a potable antifreeze. Pour into all water tanks and make sure to run through any lines/hoses as well. If you have fish lockers with pumps, don’t forget to run the antifreeze through those too. Finally, know your boat and make sure you don’t miss the raw water pickup and line (I’m talking to you KingFisher Offshore owners!)
4. Cover Up: Whether it’s snow in the driveway or coastal winter rain, your boat deserves some cover front the winter woes. Whether it’s a good, tight waterproof tarp, shrink wrap, heated shop or moorage with a roof…cover is most certainly key.
5. Batteries: Keep your batteries on charge or boat plugged in so batteries don’t deplete in cold when not in use.
6. Heating Plan: Cold and moisture are bad for your boat…especially when it sits there all winter! Give some thought to a good heating plan that fits your winter storage. Firing up a heater and/or fan regularly will help moisture from taking hold on your interior. And your KingFisher will love the attention. If your boat is in the water all winter, like many on Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland, keep a low-draw Palomar heater plugged in to ensure you don’t freeze up. The one I have doesn’t kick in till around 3 or 4 degrees and costs about 300 bucks.
A little winter preparation will make your springtime that much easier.
And like many KingFisher owners…we at Big Coast can’t wait for Spring!
Tim Milne – Big Coast