Your Guide To Getting Your Boat Ready for Winter

Dec 5th, 2017
Hampton Yacht Group of Seattle

If you haven't already, make sure that you have winterized your boat for the upcoming cold winter months. We compiled a check list of tips for you to follow to ensure your boat is well protected and cared for.


  • Decide if you are storing your boat in-water or on land. Storage facilities on land often have waitlists and require booking in advance.
  • A bimini top won't protect your boat from freezing rain or snow. They should be kept in the boat or taken home to be cleaned. A sturdy cover is custom-made, from canvas and will protect your boat best.
  • Remove all onboard items to guard against theft. Lock cabins before you leave. It is an excellent time to bring home first aid and survival gear for inspection. Replace anything that is missing, worn out, or expired. Make sure to remove even small items like sunscreen or bugspray that could freeze and burst.
  • Clean boat exterior to prevent filth or grime ruining the finish.
  • If in water, monitor your boat regularly.
  • As common practice, run all equipment such as engine, generators, A/C, heaters at least once a month, especially during winter months.

Engine Room

  • If your boat is in-water, hook batteries up to a solar powered trickle charger. If storing boat on land, remove batteries and hook up to a trickle-charger.
  • Remember to fill your fuel tanks. Empty tanks are more prone to grow mold in winter months. Add stabilizer to fuel which will prevent growth of bacteria and separation of fuel components.
  • Fog the engine with a fogging oil to prevent corrosion. Also change the oil and filter.
  • Run antifreeze through the engine via raw-water intake hose until it is coming out from exhaust outlet. Use a non-toxic propylene glycol rated for engine use.
  • Fill water-strainers with antifreeze.
  • Leave the block heaters on if you have them.

Below Decks

  • Follow the owners manual to flush the holding tank and then pump fresh water flush out. Then add anti-freeze to the tank.
  • Drain fresh water tank and run anti-freeze through it. Make sure to use non-toxic propylene glycol.
  • Clean and dry bilges
  • Open all lockers and cabinets to air out.
  • Secure all windows, ports, and hatches.

If you have any questions, our brokers have decades of boating experience and are happy to help ensure that your boat is well equipped for winter.


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