After last winter’s harsh record low freezing temperatures, Boaters should not wait this year to winterize your boat.
The icy blast of arctic air that pushed freezing temperatures across the area last winter left a wake of damage in its path. No one felt it more in their pocket books than some local boat owners. Local boat dealers this year report seeing a huge increase in damage to boat motors caused by last winter’s freeze. With this increased volume of boats needing engine replacements and major repairs, local service departments became backed up. Since a large number of these problems were not discovered by boat owners till late spring, many missed out on this year’s best boating months.
“Due to the long duration of the sub freezing temperatures earlier this year, many boats that had previously been unharmed through the winter months experienced major freeze damage” said Chris Knight of H&W Marine. “The results of freeze damage on a marine motor are very costly to repair. This major expense and inconvenience is easily preventable with proper winterization of your boat. Unfortunately, people tend to put off this important preventive maintenance and once we have our first hard freeze; it could be too late!”
Marine engines are liquid cooled by water taken in from the lake. A certain amount of this water is left in the cooling system after use. With sustained freezing temperatures the water in the engine expands to nearly twice the volume it was as a liquid. Many of the cavities in the motor that contain this water, like the exhaust manifold and engine block, will end up cracking and causing non-repairable damage that will require replacement of these expensive components. This is similar to what can happen to unwrapped pipes on your house during a freeze.
Whether you store your boat on a trailer or in a boat house, winterization is a crucial step in the care of your boat. Boat winterization is best done by the professionals. This process usually includes stabilizing the fuel, an ethanol protectant, changing the gear oil, disconnecting the necessary electrical, cylinder lubrication, an engine freeze guard and some type of winter corrosion protection. A proper winter storage cover and applying an interior moisture inhibitor with mildew protection is also recommended. Some dealers will even include complimentary De-Winterization when spring rolls around.
Taking this protective measure will not only save you time and money, it will also assure your boat will greet you with a happy face when warm weather welcomes you again.
H & W Marine, Texas</p