Winterize Now to Avoid Costly Repairs Next Spring

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At the first sign of warm weather next spring you’ll be itching to get the boat out on the water. You want to get in and go, taking in the sunshine and fresh air after the long winter.

What you don’t want is for the first trip out to be cut short, taking an unplanned detour to the dealership instead of the water.


Now is the time to winterize your boat. Doing so can avoid costly repairs due to neglecting some basic maintenance tasks. Whether you prefer DIY or help from the dealership, run this checklist provided by the experts at Carolina Skiff.


Your boat will be ready to go next spring, and so will you.

Get ready

Before you store the boat take time now for annual maintenance, including the tasks, usually put off until spring. Check the anchor, chains, dock lines, and fenders, too. Replace any worn or damaged parts that wear out from normal use. Take advantage of Christmas sales to replace what you need now, instead of paying full price next spring.

Clean it up

Give your boat and outboard a thorough cleaning before extended storage. Always make sure that any item or area of the boat is bone-dry before closing or sealing off storage compartments.

Replace it now

Your outboard’s engine oil has been working hard to suspend and carry away debris and potential corrosives resulting from the combustion process. Don’t wait for spring to change it. Get rid of this nasty oil and the oil filter before you lay up for storage. Also, change the fuel filter. Any water remaining inside the filter can freeze over the winter.

Charge ‘em up

Before storage charge the batteries. It’s best to check the charge monthly and keep batteries topped off if the boat is stored outdoors. The better option is removing the batteries and storing inside the garage in a cool, dry place.

Fog it down

Aerosol fogging solutions protect vital internal engine components during periods of inactivity by coating them with a thick petroleum-based lubricant. This helps prevent rust and corrosion from forming and protects during start-up. Use fogging oil and application instructions recommended by the manufacturer of your outboard.

Keep it dry

Water can form in the fuel system due to natural condensation. In addition, ethanol fuels can draw water directly from the atmosphere through the tank’s vent. Make sure to run the proper storage amount of manufacturer recommended fuel stabilizer and conditioner in your fuel. Thoroughly course it through the entire fuel system prior to shut down. Never plug or cap the fuel tank vent, as the vent allows for natural expansion and contraction within the fuel system. Plugging the vent may potentially cause damage to fuel tanks and fittings.


Loyal owners of Carolina Skiff have winterized their boats throughout the brand’s 30-year legacy of making the best skiff on the water.

Want to join them? Check out the lineup of Carolina Skiff models at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boat on the website. You can also contact Carolina Skiff and request a catalog. Join the community of Carolina Skiff followers at the Carolina Skiff Facebook Page.