Here at Alair Homes Lake Norman, our team loves living on Lake Norman. We enjoy a more temperate spring and fall than other parts of the country, which makes for a longer boating season. However,come November, we are forced to start thinking about winterizing the boat, safely preparing it to sit idle until spring.
Winterizing Your Boat
Winterizing is important –you spent a lot on your boat, so why not protect it from freezing weather and months of inactivity? In my neighborhood, there is friendly debate over when and how much to do to winterize a boat. We all expect freezing temperatures between December and March, but sometimes it gets cold early and sticks below freezing for days. A few years ago, an unexpected temperature drop caught many people by surprise. Two of the 10 boats in our common dock area had their engine blocks crack, costing over $5000 in damage. Your enemy, ironically, is water.
Protect the Engine
Protect your engine by draining all the water out and replacing it with antifreeze, following your manufacturer’s recommendations. Some people put a non-sparking heater in the engine compartment area –(don’t use a utility light as they aren’t safe). You should also drain and add antifreeze to the holding tanks and drain the bilge. Next up, make sure your battery is fully charged and in good working order. What about fuel and oil? Fill up so moisture can’t condense and settle in your tank. Use non-ethanol fuel for the last few fill ups, and when you winterize, throw in a can of fuel stabilizer. Also, change the oil to protect the expensive parts of your engine!
On the interior, leave doors open, and use moisture and odor removing products in your cabin. Clean the interior and cover the hull to protect it from the elements. If you aren’t mechanically inclined or don’t have time, our neighborhood marinas will do it for you and save you that $5000 in engine repairs. The best incentive, though, is that your boat will be ready and waiting for you when spring comes early!!