We get pretty reasonable temperatures year-round in Australia, and there’s not really any time of the year that’s impossible to go boating (with the exception of cyclone weather), yet we’d often prefer not to be out on the water in the colder, shorter days of winter.
While frozen waters aren’t likely to crack your hull, it’s still better to ‘winterise’ your boat and store it correctly if you know you’re not going to be using it for a while. This isn’t really that common a practice in Australia, so we thought we’d give you a bit of a rundown of the process for winterising your boat, ensuring it’s in better condition for the summer months when you return to the sea.
Hauling your boat
If you have a place to store your boat at home, what’s the point in paying 3-4 months of marina fees? Haul your boat and take it home so it’s out of the water and handy for performing all your cleaning and storage prep tasks. Otherwise, you’re just going to keep putting it off until spring.
Clearing everything out
Remove anything that can hold moisture – lest it get mouldy by spring. This includes any equipment, towels, rags, life vests and seat cushions. Unless you have a waterproof shed, it’s also advisable to remove any electronics like radios, scanners, lights and GPS. Finally, remove the bilge plug and put it somewhere safe that you’ll remember when you’re ready to head back out on the water.
Cleaning your boat
Now it’s out of the water is the perfect time to give your boat a fully detailed clean, inside and out. This includes all the equipment you’ve removed, seat cushions, the hull, windows, and especially any fishing gear. It will also give you the opportunity to check for any blisters or cracks on the hull, and other signs of damage, wear or tear throughout. Finish all this off with a good buff wax.
Boat engine check
Start by checking the boat engine for any damage, cracks or worn parts that need replacing. Give it an oil and fluid change, a clean, and anything else recommended by the user manual. It’s also a good idea to remove the battery and hooking it up to a trickle charger. From this, you should get an idea of what needs to be done in the next stage.
This is your opportunity to do any repairs or upgrades you may have been putting off. Fix or replace the parts that are damaged or worn, or, it may be time to think about repowering your boat. You have a couple of months to completely replace the engine if that’s what you’d like to do, without missing any time on the water. Keep in mind, we do offer marine finance for boat engine upgrades.
Covering your boat
No matter where you store your boat, make sure you put a decent cover over it to protect against the elements, moisture and dust. Even once it’s safe and secure undercover, remember to keep an eye on your boat throughout the winter. Make sure the cover isn’t leaking and no animals or insects have moved in and started calling it home.
Follow this guide and you should be ready for the next boating season, after a spring maintenance check of course, with minimum fuss.
If you’re looking to buy a new boat before spring, now is also a good time to go shopping. Talk to us about boat finance for new and used boats, or even engine upgrades. We can even arrange pre-approved boat finance so you can take your time and shop with confidence.