I hope each one of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Now that the boating season is starting
to wind down and we head towards the Christmas holiday I thought I?d touch on a few topics that will help your boat through the winter.

We all love our boats and all of us have to face that fact of storage for something that we only
use a few times a year. Some of are fortunate to have the option to store indoors while other have to unfortunately keep the boat outside. The outside elements can be a harsh place to store our boat but if we keep a few things in mind, it may help keep those cold wet winters from ruining our favorite summer friend.

It is very important to prep your toy for the long winter. Depending on your type of boat,
storage location, and engine, it may require different procedures to winterize. Always drain the water
out of everything you can include the engine at minimum! There are many procedures to winterize
your particular boat and most of your local repair facilities or manufactures can steer you in the right
direction. Depending on your application different maintenance may be required. If you store you boat
outside, the following guidelines can make your life a little easier come next boating season.

If you store your boat outdoors in the elements, be sure to raise the front trailer jack to

its safest maximum height. This will allow the water to drain out of the boat. For those with older boats that do not have a jack, a floor jack, large blocks of wood, or foam make a good support if you can do it safely. Remove the drain plug or plugs from the transom of the boat. Also it is helpful to remove any plugs that may be located in the interior compartments between bulkheads and/or storage lockers. These areas tend to fill with water during the rainy season and later can become problematic. By removing these plugs, any water collected will drain out of the boat. We have seen countless boats arrive for spring service with 1 to 3 feet of water in them! This is horrible for all boat components but can be especially hard on the electrical equipment and interior upholstery. These electrical components can become easily damaged and generally need to be repaired or replaced. Depending on your boat and engine type, actions like this can cost you and your family a lot of hard earned money. Equipment that sits in rain water can easily corrode due to moisture that collects when the rain stops.

If you have a
proper boat cover, cover it during those months. A cover that is water-repellant treated can help save the interior and other items in the boat. Some of your local repair shops have the ability to launder and treat your cover with a type of ?guard? repellant. Washing your cover before the wet season arrives helps eliminate the dirt and dust that has become trapped inside the canvas during the summer. Treating the cover will also prevent dirt particles from passing into your boats? interior that which always has the potential to stain. It is a good idea to remove the seat cushions and locker covers. If you have room in your garage, store these pieces until spring. When these pieces are left in the boat, moisture gets trapped underneath which can possibly lead to rotting. If you do not have room inside your garage, lift and lean them up on the seat or stand them vertically allowing any water that could collect to drain. After a rain it is a good idea to remove the cover and allow
the interior to air dry. This will also allow any trapped moisture to escape. For those of you that choose to cover the canvas cover with plastic tarps, be sure to remove the tarp as soon as the rain stops! We have seen those types of tarps destroy the boats finish and gel coat because of the moisture it locks in. Repairs to correct this damage will make anyone cringe. Be sure to keep an eye on the tires as well. Ignoring low tires can cause unwanted damage to the sidewalls. This damage has the potential to cause problems the following boating season. Having to purchase new trailer tires on a trailer that is only used a few times a year can be an additional expense that no one needs.

Other great options for storage this winter would be to store your boat at indoor/covered

storage facility. There are two types of storage facilities: covered or enclosed. Depending on your budget, either type will do. If you choose indoor storage, cover the boat as well. It will help keep the wind dust out of the boat. Depending on where you store you should at least look into winter preparations. Some of our local indoor storage facilities offer short-term packages at reasonable rates so visit these places and see what works for you. Lastly, you may also want to connect with your local boat shop. Often these shops offer indoor storage as winter work lightens. You may also want to consider beginning a large overhaul, upgrade, rebuild/re-rig, or repair project with your favorite boat shop. These projects take time and money but one perk can be indoor storage throughout the winter.
You never know what kind of deals you may find when the busy time for boat shops comes to a close.

These are just a few suggestions which can help make the difference between cleaning and
prepping or having to spend thousands of dollars on repairs next season. Every application is different so be sure to connect with your local marine shop regarding your particular vessel. From us here at Prime Marine we hope you and your families have a great holiday season.

Thank you,

Prime Marine
10742 Edison Ct
Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730
909 484-8338

Photos courtesy of Adlee, VDriveVideo, PerformanceBoats, Performance Canvas, DragBoatCity.