There are many steps motorboaters and paddlers can take to make sure boats are ready for next year. When boats aren’t properly winterized, boaters can incur costly and unexpected repairs and replacement of equipment at the beginning of the next season.
Of course motorboats are most sensitive to changes in weather. Owners of powerboats should drain all standing water, ensure critical fluids are topped off and add antifreeze where appropriate (consult owner’s manual on your specific boat’s needs).
Owners of very expensive motorboats and equipment might consider examining their insurance coverage. According to Boat U.S., one of the premier boat insurance providers, some companies offer comprehensive cold weather coverage that protects against accidental freezing damage. The very best way to protect boats is to make sure they are prepared for winter in the first place, but for some boaters, a policy that protects against such damage is a good idea.
Paddle craft owners are often under the mistaken impression that their boats need no special winterization. In fact, standing water in canoes and kayaks is just as much a risk to paddle craft as it is to motorboats. Paddlers should also be aware of where boats are stowed over the winter. Leaving canoes, kayaks and paddleboards uncovered and exposed to the elements significantly damages boats over time. It’s best to store all paddles, boats and equipment in a dry storage area well away from the damage of the elements.
Other than the boats themselves, all boaters should be careful about how they store associated equipment, like lines, life jackets and fenders. Many boaters make the mistake of leaving these items on the boat or out in the elements. A properly stored life jacket can last years or even a decade or more, while a new life jacket left on the lawn over the winter will often be ruined in the span of a year. Every year game wardens see almost new life jackets that are no longer useable because of simple mistreatment.
Although boating season ends for many people in the fall, the boat and associated equipment must still be cared for over the winter months. Just a few moments of consideration can save a boater hundreds of dollars in replacement equipment and repairs. Take a moment now to make your spring boating season fun and less expensive.
Nevada Boater Education
Winter is a great time to take an online Boater Education class. Learn boating basics, laws and regulations to equipment checklists and more handy information.