FROM THE BoatU.S. INSURANCE FILES By BoB AdriAnce
While the entire crew is likely to lend a hand for spring fitting out, reversing the process in the
fall is like cleaning up after a party; there are few volunteers and even less effort
A one-inch thickness of ice covering one square foot of surface weighs almost five pounds! on a typical 30-foot powerboat, that could add 1,500 pounds per inch of ice, high above the water- line. A boat covered with this much ice risks rolling over.
TRUE STORY: A man in Minnesota was planning to spend the weekend hunting. As he was heading out the door with his bud- dies, his wife asked when he was going to winterize his boat. The man put his arm around her and said, “Honey, I think of it as our boat. Would you do it?” So she drove to the boat, poured
kerosene in the bilge, and tossed in a match.
Two points: The wife’s winterizing “
shortcut” created more problems than it solved,
and the couple is no longer married. BoatU.S.
didn’t insure the boat, incidentally. This
incident wasn’t the first time a boat was damaged by a hasty winterizing effort. Many boats
are damaged or even destroyed every year
because the systems aren’t given the attention they deserve. While everybody knows
that the engine and freshwater system must
be winterized, there are many small but critical jobs that should be done that tend to go
begging. Here are various winterizing chores
that are most likely to be overlooked.
Did you drain the engine intake sea
strainer? Everyone knows to winterize the
engine, but not everyone knows to drain
the sea strainer. Water left in the strainer can
freeze and break the watertight seal. When
that happens, water is free to enter the boat
in the spring when the ice thaws and the
intake seacock is opened.
Have biminis and dodgers been stored
inside? There’s a common misconception
that a cover that protects the crew from
sunlight and spray will also protect the boat
from freezing rain and snow. Quite the contrary, biminis and dodgers tend to be ripped
apart or, more likely, aged prematurely by the
effects of winter weather while doing almost
nothing to protect the boat. Aluminum support frames are frequently bent by the weight
of accumulated snow. Biminis and dodgers
should be taken home for the winter, cleaned,
and, if necessary, re-stitched and repaired.
If the boat is stored in the water, did you
close all of the seacocks? If you leave your
boat in the water over the winter, it’s absolutely essential that you close the seacocks.
Leaving a boat’s seacocks open is like going
on an extended vacation and leaving the
doors to your house unlocked. Neglecting to