As sad as it may be to have to pull the boat out of the water that last time for the year, it would be even more tragic to get it out next spring, only to find out that thousands of dollars’ worth of damage has occurred. According to Boating magazine, failure to properly winterize your boat can lead to very costly problems.
In fact, as boats seem to hibernate each year, out of sight and out of mind of their snowmobile-ready or ski-slope-bound owners, many of those marine vessels die cold, quiet deaths. When the spring thaw comes, it’s simply too late.
Whether you choose to winterize your pontoon boat, speed boat, or jet ski yourself or have it done professionally, you’ll want to make sure that the following treatments are included in the process.
Drain the Engine
Once you locate the petcocks beneath the manifolds beside the engine block, you need to open them and remove the water-pump hose from the bottom of the pump and make sure it’s completely drained. Any remaining water can freeze, causing the engine block and manifolds to freeze. (Note: Boats with outboard motors include a self-draining feature, so they don’t require this step.)
While this step costs you nothing but a few minutes of your time to do, if you don’t do it, the cost can top $20,000.
Changing the Engine Oil
While this step is certainly important in maintaining an automobile, it may be even more significant for seafaring vessels. If you don’t change the engine oil, corrosion may occur and extra moisture may build up, and you’ll be risking excessive wear, which can lead to losing power, decreasing fuel economy, and even causing engine failure.
This step costs between $30 and $100, but if you don’t do it, you could risk paying upwards of $20,000 in case of engine failure.
Fogging the Engine Cylinders
You can protect your boat’s engine until spring by fogging its interior with an aerosol solution. While each boat manufacturer has its own special formula, the basic idea is to spray the solution into the air intake via a garden hose. Without this fogging step, corrosion may form.
This step costs under $20, but if you don’t do it, that choice could cost you more than $15,000.
Providing Fuel Treatment
Applying a product such as Pennzoil Fuel Stabilizer, Stabil or PRI-G can stabilize your boat’s fuel, making sure fuel injectors and carburetors remain unclogged. Simply add your chosen product to the fuel and run your boat’s engine for approximately 10 minutes, long enough for the stabilized fuel to circulate to all parts of the engine.
While this step costs under $20 to perform, it can cost over $1,000 if you don’t do it.
The Nicholas Insurance Agency, led by Greg Nicholas, is a family owned business serving the York county, Pennsylvania region. In the insurance business since 1981, Greg Nicholas helps families, businesses and individuals understand the value of different insurance products and make wise decisions when selecting the best insurance products for their specific situations.
Offering exclusively Allstate insurance products, the Nicholas Agency provides auto, homeowners, rental and landlord insurance as well as life & disability, motorcycle and personal liability insurance. Nicholas Insurance offers Recreational Off-Road Vehicle Insurance that covers boats; policies include liability, physical damage, and medical payments in case of covered injuries.
For more information, visit our two York, PA locations at Westgate Plaza or Northeast Shopping Center or call us at (717) 764-2024.
Image credits: Top © BlueOrange Studio/Fotolia; 2nd © quicksandala/MorgueFile; 3rd © Jon Bilous/Fotolia; 4th © MaryRN/MorgueFile; 5th © Antonioguillem/Fotolia; 6th © lauramusikanski/MorgueFile.