Winter boat maintenance
Ensure that your boat stays in tip-top shape in the off-season with regular winter boat maintenance. Visit your boat periodically to check for damage and nip potential problems in the bud.
Assuming your boat has already been properly winterized, an inspection checklist for vessels on the hard should include the following steps:
- Make sure jack stands aren’t shifting. (Never tie boat covers to jack stands.)
- If the battery has been left aboard, keep it fully charged to prevent it from freezing.
- Check the battery’s voltage with a multimeter. A hydrometer will also show the state of charge.
- Remove electronics that are susceptible to temperature damage.
- Place moisture-absorbing materials (desiccants) in enclosed spaces, and replace them when depleted.
- Make sure scuppers are free of leaves and debris to ensure that any water that finds its way aboard drains off freely.
- Make sure rainwater isn’t accumulating in the bilge where it can freeze.
- Look for evidence of destructive wildlife (especially rodents) making their homes aboard your boat.
–Van Allen Rice
Feel at home on the water
Learn to boat with confidence by taking the Boat Handling course online from America’s Boating Club.