Winter Boat Maintenance

Boat in the snow

We’re lucky in Australia –  we can keep boating all year long if we really want to.

However, although it doesn’t necessarily freeze here (with a few regional and southern exceptions) many of us take winter off from boating, either because the conditions aren’t ideal or it’s just too cold and we don’t want to.

If you know you won’t be going out on the water for a while, winter can be a good time to do some necessary maintenance and “winterise” your boat for Australian conditions.

Use this winter boat maintenance checklist as a guide for looking after your boat during the colder months and perhaps even save yourself some money.

infographic_winterising-your-boat

Winterising Your Boat Down Under

Haul out your boatHaul out

In colder climates where the waters are likely to freeze, marinas will set a haul out date when all boats must be removed from the water by. While this isn’t necessary in most Australian marinas, if you have room to store your boat at home it’s a way you can save some money over the winter and have your boat close at hand for winter maintenance.

Clean your boat

Dirty boats can mould. It’s a good idea to give your boat a full detail at the start of the winter months, and we mean a FULL detail! Clean everything inside and out, then finish with a buff wax. It will also give you a chance to inspect the hull for blisters or cracks, and look for other damage throughout the vessel.Clean out your boat

Clear out your boat

Remove everything that can hold moisture such as towels, rags, life vests, cushions etc. as these are the first things to start to mould. If you have electronic items it’s best to remove these and store them inside too. Remove the bilge plug (storing it somewhere safe) and make sure the boat is draining properly with the bow elevated.

Engine check

Give the engine a full oil and fluid change, clean it up and carry out any further maintenance as per the user manual. Remove the battery and either charge it periodically or have it hooked up to a trickle charger.

Check over the engine for any damage, cracks or wearing parts that need replacing. Work out whether you need to get any repairs done over the winter months, if it’s time to do an overhaul, or even replace the whole engine. If so you should talk to us at Boat Loans Now as we do offer finance for new boat engines.

Boat covered for winterCover your boat

Whether it’s a mooring cover or shrink wrap, make sure you cover it up and keep it dry if it’s being stored for a prolonged period.

Repairs

Now is the time to get any necessary repair work done on your boat. If there are no repairs needed you can also take advantage of this time to do any upgrades or alterations you’ve been meaning to do over summer.

Regularly inspect your boat

If nothing else needs to be done don’t just leave it for the next 3-6 months. Regularly check there are no leaks in the covers, everything is draining properly and nothing is corroding. It’s better to deal with any problems now while they’re still small problems rather than ones that have been getting worse over 6 months of storage.

If you follow this guide your boat should be in a good condition when spring comes around. spring boating good conditions

When the weather does get warm and you’re ready to take it out, make sure you do a good spring prep before launching back into the water. But we’ll discuss the Spring boat start-up checklist towards the end of winter.

For now though, if you’re thinking of upgrading either your engine or boat before summer talk to the team at Boat Loans. We can provide finance for new and used boats, as well as pre-approved loans so you know where you stand when you start shopping around.