How to Winterize a Boat

winterizing a boat

All good things must come to an end, including the warm summer boating season. If you live in an area that experiences freezing temperatures, take steps to ensure your boat will be ready for the next season.

Water is the Enemy

If you paid attention during high school science, you probably learned that water expands as it freezes. Freeze damage can be catastrophic to your engine, causing cracks in even the strongest metal, but that's not the only issue. Standing water and moisture can cause corrosion and promote the growth of mold and mildew. Keeping water out of the boat is critical to ensure it will be ready for next Spring.

Steps to Winterize a Boat

  1. Change fuel filters and fuel/water separators.
  2. Add fuel stabilizer and run your engine to draw treated fuel through the system.
  3. Drain all water from your engine and associated systems, including engine block, exhaust manifolds, water pump, and raw water coolant hoses.
  4. Drain fresh water plumbing systems such as sinks, heads, and holding tanks.
  5. Remove drain plugs.
  6. Remove accessories like life jackets, tow-ables, towels, and other gear that may be wet.
  7. Deep clean and prepare for long-term storage to ensure that your boat is ready to use next Spring.

Bling Sauce Quickie Sauce being applied to a microfiber towel to wax a boat

How to Detail a Boat (The Basics)

  1. Wipe down all finished, glossy surfaces inside and out with Hot Sauce water spot remover with sealant to remove water spots and accumulated dust and grime.
  2. Apply a coat of wax to exterior fiberglass and painted surfaces. Quickie Sauce wax is an excellent option since it's easy to apply while providing months of protection.
  3. Clean the vinyl seats and upholstery with Vinyl Sauce; if the seats are relatively clean, mist and wipe to remove sunblock and oils. Use a soft bristle brush to lift grime up from the creases and wipe it away with a damp towel for more thorough cleaning.
  4. Protect the vinyl seats, rubber, and plastic trim with Condition Sauce protectant. Mist and wipe onto large surfaces like seats; for sensitive areas where overspray may be problematic, apply a towel and apply with product onto the surface.
  5. If you notice signs of mold or mildew, treat the area with Green Sauce enzyme-based mold and mildew stain remover.
  6. Crack open a frosty beverage of your choice and admire your work.

Every boat is different, so in addition to the steps listed above, it's a good idea to consult your owner's manual for specifics as to how to winterize your boat correctly. There are also many qualified professional service shops and marinas eager to earn your business, many of whom are part of the Bling Sauce network of trusted retailers. Find one near you by visiting our dealer locator.