De-Winterizing Your Boat

May 05, 2020

Warm weather is here. Summer is soon to follow. Is your boat ready? It’s hard to ignore the itch of waterside fun, especially when the summer sun hits. However, there are a few chores to get out of the way before you can enjoy all your fun on the water. Here at Gordon Bay Marine Boats, we want want to make sure our customers have everything they need for the upcoming boating season, so let’s start with de-winterizing your boat. If you have more questions after reading this brief guide, or you’re just looking for the best boats and equipment around, head to our location at Lake Joseph, Ontario, near Muskoka and Toronto.

Visual Inspection

The first thing you’ll want to do after taking your boat out of storage (even if that just means removing a cover or tarp) is to give it a visual check. You’re looking for anything that might have changed or shifted. Open every hatch and remove additional coverings. If your boat has an onboard motor, open that up and check around the motor bay. Note any mold or mildew, since water has a way of working itself into the most inconvenient spots. Do the same with any carpeting as well as seals and the hull itself. Really just check everywhere for mildew!

When checking out the hull, be on the lookout for damage that could have been the result of something before entering storage. Even small cracks or weak welding could mean problems on the water, so make sure to call Gordon Bay Marine Boats if you need service. Be wary of any holes or crevices, as bugs and other pests can find shelter in your boat. And while you’re mostly looking for damage, make note of components or other areas that could use a bit of extra attention for cleaning or repair.

Engine

Give your boat’s engine a dry test before dropping it in the water. There’s not much to do if you launch and only discover a problem on the day of your first boat outing. For outboard motors, take off the nacelle and look everything over, including fluid levels like coolant and oil. Check for leaks around gaskets and the engine head. For inboards, open the bay and peek inside. Take care of anything obvious, like replacing spark plugs, but if you detect something amiss, again, take it in to a professional for assistance.

Electronics

Check over all your electrical systems and gadgets. GPS, fish finders, or whatever other devices you’ve got around may either drain out of juice during the off-season or else find their own unique ways of not working. Check batteries with a multimeter and replace accordingly.

Covering

Inspect any covers you plan on using, taking care to find rips and tears — as well as mold and mildew! Patch where you can before holes and tears cause more damage. Also examine material like seat covers. They can also suffer from mold and mildew, as well as UV light exposure, all of which can weaken the material.

Cleaning

It’s best to give your boat a good once-over in terms of cleaning before storing it, and this is true for de-winterization as well. And if you take any pride in a slick, clean boat, you might also want to give it another wash before taking it to the water. Polish chrome accents and spray some glass cleaner on any windshields.

Taking your boat out of storage and ready for the water doesn’t have to be a huge endeavour. Create a routine, write out a checklist, and look out for mold and mildew! And if you do find a major problem during your inspection, feel free to give us a call or come in to Gordon Bay Marine Boats in Lake Joseph, Ontario. We’re located near Muskoka and proudly serve the whole Toronto area. Come in today to experience the best customer service around!