Keeping Your Boat Safe – Even When You’re Not Using It

winterizing-boats.jpg

Sooner or later, our friends in cold climates are going to
have to admit defeat: cold weather is here, and it’s here to stay. For a few
months, at least. And with the cold weather comes the inevitable questions of
how to properly store and maintain your boat when you’re off doing other things
until spring.

But while most people focus on boat maintenance and storage,
there’s one critical aspect of maintaining a boat when you’re not around:
safety.

That means keeping your boat in good working order as well
as keeping it literally secure so it
doesn’t detach from a dock and wreak havoc on other boats. Here are a few tips for keeping your boat safe this
winter:

If Your Boat is Kept
in a Marina…

Sometimes, you have little other choice but to keep your
boat docked in a marina, even in cold weather climates. But just because you’re
keeping your boat in water is no excuse not to check up on it and take every
precaution necessary to ensure that it’s still safe and secure come spring:

  • Visit
    your boat every so often.
    No, we don’t think your boat will get lonely. But
    you should check for changes in the waterline, including checking your bilge
    (which should be drained) for water.
  • Check
    your dock ties.
    Is your boat really secured to a dock? If the water or
    weather changes, does it have enough slack to do damage? If so, now’s the time
    to tighten up.
  • Keep your
    boat free of expensive property.
    Even simple objects like radios and
    navigation systems can be stolen right off a boat if you’re not careful.
  • Check for
    leaks.
    Oil, coolant, fuel—none of it is a great addition to the marine
    environment.

If Your Boat is Kept
in Storage…

Storage is a great option if your winters are truly rough
and you have nowhere else to keep a boat. But that doesn’t mean your boat is
guaranteed to stay safe:

  • Double-check
    the boat security, including door locks.
    If you keep your boat in your
    garage, ask yourself how good your garage security is. Make sure to be thorough
    if you’re hiring a storage vendor.
  • Treat any
    potential mildew as soon as you find it.
    You don’t want mildew staying
    around to wreak havoc on the interior of your boat. Use a product like Mildew Remover to keep
    your boat healthy even when in storage.
  • Check all
    stands, jacks, and chains.
    If it’s keeping your boat in place, you want to
    make sure that it stays in place.
    Check for any loose stands, jacks, and chains to make sure that your boat is
    kept off the ground in a safe and secure fashion.

There’s plenty you can do to maximize the safety and
security of your boat before the coldest months hit. Make sure to keep these
tips in mind for this winter and you’ll stand a much greater chance of having a
quality, healthy boat that’s ready for action again in the spring.

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