Boating BC reminds boaters about the do’s and don’t’s for winter boat storage

Taking the time and effort to properly store your boat for colder weather is important

For many British Columbians, the winter temperatures mean it’s time to put away their paddles and oars for the year.

Taking the time and effort to properly store your boat for colder weather is one of the most important things a boat owner can do to ensure your boat has a long life. There are some tips and tricks to be aware of, and several important steps to save you time and keep your boat in great form over the winter months.

Boat winterization varies depending on the size and type of your vessel. It’s a good idea to store smaller boats out of the water in a dry, warm and covered area where they can be protected from the winter elements. If a garage or a private area is not accessible, look for a marina that offers dry boat storage or is climate-controlled. If that’s not an option, be sure your boat is covered with a tarp and all water has been drained.

Give your boat a thorough inspection and clean it using an environmentally friendly detergent. Any moisture left on your boat can cause mould and mildew, especially if the boat is to be stored for several months, and salt water damage can be even worse. Water can also cause significant damage if it freezes — use a non-toxic antifreeze for freshwater systems, and hot water heaters and a small amount in the bilge to prevent freezing.

The next step is to tend to the engine. For inboard engines, change the oil and filters, flush with fresh water and circulate antifreeze through a couple of cycles. Remember to remove spark plugs when the engine cools.

For sterndrive engines, remove any barnacles and marine growth. Check the gear oil for milkiness — it could mean leaking seals.

Flush outboard engines with fresh water. Before draining water from the engine, disconnect the fuel hose and run the engine until it stops. Remember to grease any moving parts.

Air in fuel tanks can cause condensation. To prevent this, top-up your fuel tank before storing it and treat the fuel with a fuel stabilizer.

If you cover your boat with a tarp, it can scratch shiny finishes when they billow in the wind. A solution is to pad your boat first or discard the tarp altogether and shrink wrap your boat. With shrink wrapping, it’s important to make sure the vessel is dry as moisture can cause mould to accumulate.

Boating is a year-round activity in B.C. Many recreational boaters still hunt and fish during the winter and boating is an important form of transportation in the province. If you plan on boating this winter, remember to keep these tips in mind:

• Always let someone know your float plan, including where you will be and what time you’re expecting to be back.

• Always wear a life jacket. There is a higher risk of hypothermia in the winter.

• Always bring a communication device with you and extra power source

• Assess the weather conditions before you leave and never boat under the influence.

Just Posted

Nelson Greyhound cuts approved

Service will be reduced to two trips in each direction per week

Before the war, ‘a beautiful life’

Syrian refugee family moves to Nelson from Castlegar, Turkey and Damascus

COLUMN: Violence and bullying very much alive in school

Nelson mother says real change is needed

Critical Condition: ‘People are dying from treatable medical conditions’

Problems with ambulance service policies are systemic and province-wide, advocacy group leader says.

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

South Nelson sings ‘Wheat Kings’

Grade 4 and 5 students performed at Nelson city council

COLUMN: Violence and bullying very much alive in school

Nelson mother says real change is needed

No whistles, no problem for deaf hockey player

Nelson’s Iain Love is set to compete at the Canada Deaf Games in Winnipeg

Castlegar Complex goes to referendum

Area-by-area voting will happen before summer

LETTER: International student left Nelson after just three weeks

‘I hope (she) has a better experience at her next school’

Reconciliation explored in play at LVR

Off-site presentation by the Capitol Theatre

Let the playoffs begin! Nelson Leafs host Grand Forks in Game 1 on Friday

The Leafs finished the season with the third best record in the KIJHL

SS Moyie gets $113,000 boost from CBT

Funds will help upgrade historic sternwheeler

Fundraiser for Kootenay Co-op Radio

BBQ and blues at Finley’s

Most Read