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Winter weather can be harsh on boats if they’re not properly taken care of before the cold sets in. Cracks, leaks, corrosion, frozen pipes, interior damage and fuel degradation are just some of the costly problems that could occur. As boats come in all shapes and sizes, you should consult your owner’s manual for winterizing instructions. But for now, here are some pointers to keep your boat in peak shape:

·         Fill the gas tank

·         Warm the engine, then change the oil according to your owner’s manual

·         Buy quality oil filters that have a check valve to prevent oil drainage

·         Spray fogging oil into the carburetor for 20-30 seconds with the engine running to prevent rust

·         Detach the fuel line and run the engine until the gas is burned

·         Drain water from motor then turn it over a few times to drain the cooling system

·         For engines that use coolant, fill with non-toxic propylene glycol based antifreeze—it’s better for both your engine and the environment

·         Small outboard engines are easy targets for thieves and can be stored at home for safety

·         Outboard engines should be flushed with fresh water, drained and washed with soap and water

·         Drain all fuel from the carburetor

·         Drain oil from the lower unit and ensure it’s in the down position

·         If you store your boat out of the water, disconnect the battery and store at home for safety

·         Do not remove the battery if the boat will remain in the water so the bilge pump can continue to function if necessary

·         If you store your boat ashore, power wash the exterior and touch up paint and varnish if necessary

·         Close seacocks and gate valves to protect thru-hulls

·         If water tends to freeze in your area, a deicing device or bubbling system should be installed around your boat

·         Set mold and mildew bags inside of your boat to eliminate odors

·         Cover your boat snugly to protect it against the elements

·         Check on your boat periodically over the winter months

Winter-proofing your boat will ensure that it’s ready to ride the waves come spring. Call Casey Insurance Group at (888) 537-1412 for more information on Florida boat insurance.

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