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■ Water system winterization, which
can be draining or flushing or filling,
depending on your preference. This
includes tanks, heads, pumps, shower
sumps, sinks, and even seacocks, if the
hose runs don’t drain entirely.
■ Inspection of anodes and running gear.
■ Washing the exterior of the boat to
remove salt and dirt, and getting the
cockpit or other exterior drains cleared.
■ Make sure batteries are fully
charged, or better yet, remove them
where they can be stored indoors
and given a booster charge from time
to time to keep them topped up.
What’s Left To Do?
Your boating gear, and all the stuff a boat
tends to accumulate over the season, will
be more likely to stay clean, dry, and mildew free if you take it home and store it
there. Additionally, gear that’s not on the
boat is gear that’s not there to be stolen
during those quiet months when the
boatyard is largely empty. Consider:
■ Removing bracket-mounted electronics,
even if they’re in the cabin or pilothouse.
■ Taking big-ticket items, like the dinghy, outboard, or kicker off the boat.
Same goes for paddleboards and large
water toys you might store aboard.
■ Removing rods, reels, and tackle, which
are a favorite target for thieves.
■ Taking home spare clothes, cushions,
canvas awnings, bedding, life jackets,
and anything else likely to mildew.
Wash it all and make sure it’s all
salt-free and dry before storing. Put a
lubricant on snaps and zippers, so they
don’t seize up over the storage season.
■ Adding a GPS tracker to your trailera-ble boat for remote monitoring. For as
little as $99, it can keep an electronic
eye on your boat when you can’t.
■ Blocking your trailer up off the ground
and removing the tires. This will not
only deter thieves but also make trailer
tires last longer.
How you answer these questions will dictate how much time, energy, and money
you spend, and many of us gladly trade
the latter for more of the former. Having
a plan and preparing your boat well will
mean getting back on the water sooner
come spring. So make your first port of