Winterizing Tips for Your Boat

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Now is the least favorite time of the year for avid boaters, unless you live in Florida. It is time to put the boat away for the winter. There is more to the unwelcomed task then just tarping the boat.

Before you get started now also is the time to have the outboard winterized, unless you are a do-it-yourself expert. Schedule any maintenance with your boat dealership to avoid trouble come the spring thaw.

Winterize your skiff for a safe boating experience

After a summer of fun give the hull a good cleaning. Avoid causing more harm than good when cleaning the thin layer of gel coat. Bleach products are a big no-no, and so are solvents with acetone and toluene. Save those products for other less sensitive cleaning chores.

Better choices are cleaners with chelating agents that clean on a molecular level and bring out dirt as you rinse. For most boats you can spend about two hours, applying a gel coat friendly product like Star Brite Hull Cleaner. It has chelating agents that penetrate the gel coat’s molecular level and wash away dirt when the hull is rinsed. Frequency varies depending on how often you go boating.

With the gel coat all shiny and looking like new it’s a good idea to apply a protective wax coating. Over time the plasticizers responsible for the shine leach out, leaving a dull appearance. Slow it down with carnauba, which is the hardest natural wax. Don’t go all the way with 100 percent carnauba because it would be too tough to apply. A balance of carnauba with silicone and other solvents will create protection and the showroom-new shine. Meguiar’s Pure Wax, applied twice each season, is a good choice.

Winter air can shift between humid and dry, and both conditions can bring grief to upholstery. Another unwelcome invader is mold and mildew, which can form over the winter when surfaces remain moist. The preventative measure is venting your boat cover for good airflow to minimize the retention of moisture. Mildew sprays and chemical dehumidifiers are your best friend to keep mold and mildew out.

Moisture can also corrode electronics and other related devices. Remove those expensive and valuable electronics and store inside. Then, spray all exposed electrical connections with a moisture-displacing lubricant.

If your boat has a head, it needs TLC, too. When pumping the toilet a telltale sign of trouble is back-pressure in the line. If you feel it during operation, then stop the pump and get to work. Even better, head off the problem by cleaning the vent’s screen with a toothbrush at least once a season.

Save disinfectant sprays, bleaches or any petroleum products for home. Those products can destroy rubber parts like hoses. Instead, spend a few minutes each week flushing the system with distilled white vinegar. Mix one cup to a gallon of fresh water.

Finally, be sure to store the boat with the batteries fully charged. Have the batteries load tested to make sure they are ready come spring, and keep them charged monthly if possible. Even better, remove the batteries and store indoors if you plan to store the boat outside.

Many of the above headaches can be avoided by owning a boat that is made to withstand the elements for years. For 30 years now, customer loyalty has grown, along with a longtime dealer network that proclaims Carolina Skiff as the best in the class. The reason why is quality design and construction.

Carolina Skiff offers 60 models from which to choose for what suits your needs. That is a lot of boats, but you can narrow the selections by understanding how Carolina Skiff successfully combines the features of two or more boats into one. You get more value for the price and a boat that lasts for years and years.

Ready to build your new boat? How about an experiment with different layouts and models? You can do both while researching the options at carolinaskiff.com. You can find a dealer, learn more about the brand legacy, and build a boaton 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.