With fall having come around already, it’s the time to go in for some boating maintenance. It’s the perfect time to do so, especially if you plan not to use your boat during the winter and want to store it.
However, winter time is also an exciting time to go boating. The weather is pleasant, especially if you’re out in Florida and going cruising around Miami or West Palm Beach or anywhere close by. It’s less sunny, tides are calmer and the ocean feels majestic in the chilly air and Florida is the perfect place for boating in the winter!
Winter also means additional prep you do to keep yourself safe and secure for a trouble-free boat rides. You take jackets, hats, caps if it’s colder where you are. In the same way, you need to prepare your boat for the winter season too.
Thinking Ahead for the Winter
Getting your boat ready for winter requires some maintenance and changes that you need to make. Some of them are bigger changes, others are smaller. It depends on what your plans for the winter are too.
Are you planning to winterize and put your boat away in storage, or to take it out on the water during the winter months too? Your winter preparation will vary accordingly.
If you’re excited about winter boating, here are 5 tips on preparing for the winter season:
1) Change Your Oil
Get rid of salt water, debris and other materials that don’t belong on your boat but may have gotten stuck from months of using it. Change the oil of your boat so that you’re working with a smooth running vessel in the cool weather.
2) Flush the Coolant System
This is also important to do, since you want to be able to use your boat in the winter months. Again, clean out any corrosion or debris that may be in the system and run an anti-freeze if you’re about to be out in cold weather.
3) Charge Your Batteries
Keep fully charged batteries before any trip, and backups in case, since they drain faster in winter. It’s for your safety—you don’t want to be stuck out in the water without battery power.
4) Check Portholes, Drains and Seacocks
Make sure that there’s no loose bolts, nuts, everything is lubricated and sealed. You don’t want to risk any sort of leakages and problems due to holes, wear and tear in your boat. It’s not only damaging but it can lead to accidents too.
5) Take Safety Precautions
Whenever you go out, let people on the shore know. Inform friends, family and the coast guard, since winter boating isn’t very common even in places like Florida, which are popular for this purpose.
Keep emergency gear, bundle up and invest in proper equipment and fixtures for your vessel. You can get a custom boat enclosure from Pelican Canvas and enjoy winter cruising, without the worry of wind and chilly waters.
Safety measures and early preparation are the keys to a great boating season in the cold weather. Get in touch with us to get a custom-made boat canvas or enclosure if you’re in Florida.