overloaded electrical system, a damaged
extension cord, or a faulty heater can all
cause your boat to catch fire and burn.
Your boat neighbors are not likely to
be happy to learn that your “shortcut”
destroyed their boat, too. Take the time to
winterize your boat properly this winter.
We’ve made it easy with our 16-page
Winterizing Guide. BoatUS.com/
DOES THIS MAKE MY TRANSOM
Most of us put on a few pounds as we
age, and boats are no different. Gear
piles up, spare-parts bins grow, and a
new four-stroke outboard weighs a lot
more than the old two-stroke. Even the
hull can absorb water over the years.
Eventually, all of this additional weight
might make it harder for a boat to get on
plane, which wastes fuel and can be hard
on the engines. But excess weight is a
problem at the dock, too. Over the years,
this boat’s hull (see below) settled deeper
into the water until the cockpit scuppers
Rather than investigate why the boat
was sitting low in the water, the owner
took the easy way out by grabbing a
can of bottom paint and raising the
waterline. The result was predictable.
During a heavy thunderstorm, rainwater accumulated, pushing the stern farther down until seawater gurgled up
through the drains, sinking the boat. Go
2016/April to learn about rainwater
sinkings and their causes.
them out from wherever they were hang-
ing, wrapping them into a tangled clump.
It’s easy to imagine the broken ends of
the big cables – probably energized by
a healthy dose of 12 volts – shorting
against something and sparking or even
igniting a fire. But that’s not all. When
these wires were ripped free, they broke
a fuel line, spewing diesel all over the
Consider the consequences of the
same scenario if the spewed fuel had
been gasoline. The only clue the skipper
had that something was amiss was a loss
of engine power. Next time you’re in your
engine room, look around for loose wires
that could catch on something while the
boat is underway. Secure sagging wires
– especially big ones – so there’s no way
they can get into mischief.
HEATERS AND WINTERIZING
In parts of the country that don’t usually get cold, plugging in a heater in
the engine room seems a lot easier than
lugging gallons of antifreeze to the boat
and filling the engine(s) with it. In fact,
using a heater can destroy your engine.
When these places do get cold, it’s often
accompanied by an ice storm that takes
out the power. No power to the heater
equals unprotected engine, which equals
permanent damage and a new engine.
A destroyed engine is actually much
better than what else can happen when
you use a heater for winterizing. An