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Do I Need to Winterize My Boat? 5 Factors to Consider

As the term implies, winterizing a boat is the procedure completed for preparing a boat for long-term storage. For example, if you live in a climate where the lake is annually certain to be covered by ice, prepping the boat for the freezing off-season is almost mandatory. If left to freeze, water trapped in an engine block, water tank, or other onboard plumbing can cause significant and very expensive damage.

This may not be an issue for a boat kept in a more temperate climate, but even when it’s unlikely that the off-season temperature will drop below freezing, there are still some good reasons to follow the procedure for long-term storage.

Here are 5 factors to consider before answering the question, "Should I winterize my boat?"

Consider It Part of 'Annual Maintenance'

In cold climates, many boat owners combine the “winterization” process with annual maintenance. This usually includes:

  • Changing the engine oil and oil filter