Get your boat through a storm
Important work must be done when severe winter weather approaches. Here are action
items to boost your boat’s chances of coming through unscathed
BY FRANK LANIER
Our BoatU.S. Marine Insurance claims files indicate that expensive and time-consuming repairs are ahead for boaters unprepared for winter storms. Owners of boats located in northern regions (where annual winterization is a fact of life) will be a step ahead of their southerly brethren, as most of
the basics will have already been completed. Owners of boats
stored in a wet slip or outside on a trailer will also have different
concerns than owners whose boats are hauled or stored ashore
at a boatyard or inside a garage.
Way down South
It’s no surprise that when freezing temps blast an area where
annual winterization isn’t the norm, many damage claims are sure
to follow. If your winter storm-prep plan consists of hanging a
garage drop light in the engine compartment and calling it good,
you may want to beef it up with some of the following tasks.
ENGINES: Because the engine is likely the most expensive piece
of gear you’ll have aboard, proper engine winterization is crucial.
From cracked blocks to fractured manifolds and risers, engines
are particularly susceptible to costly freeze damage. Review
your engine manual so you correctly complete all manufacturer-recommended steps for protection against freezing weather.
If you have an open (raw-water) cooling system, drain it
thoroughly, paying particular attention to low spots or other
areas where water could be trapped. For closed systems (
freshwater), drain the open side completely or fill with antifreeze,