How to Prepare your Boat for Winter – A Step by Step Guide

Winter is around the corner! So, is your boat ready for the winter hustle? Owning a boat comes with great responsibilities. Don’t you agree? Hiring a professional to take care of your boat is always a great idea. But it surely isn’t a money-saver!

Do not let that stop you! Gear up and get ready to steer your boat to safety during the harsh winter months! Premier Watersports comprehensive guide will teach you all the steps to winterize a boat, be it a pontoon boat or any other type of boat that matches your requirement.

Things that you will need to winterize your boat!

As the autumn sheds its last leaf and the cold air sets in, it’s time to prepare your boat for the winter! Not only buying a boat is expensive, but maintaining it is also a hefty investment.

Read here for some exclusive boat buying tips!

First things first, how long does it take to winterize a boat? Well, depending on your experience, it should take you about 4 hours to complete the task. However, it could take a lot longer if you are a rookie! Anyhow, patience is the key!

Here is a well-curated list of things you would need to prepare your boat for the winter months!

  • Fuel Stabilizer:

Thinking about using the remaining fuel after the winter season? Here is a surprise for you! Gasoline disintegrates over time! It can harden on your boat’s fuel tank. To avoid that, you need to buy a fuel stabilizer. This will keep your fuel fresh throughout the winter months and prevents hardening.

  • Antifreeze for boats:

The harsh winter can damage your boat’s hose engines as well as the other parts. To prevent freezing or any sort of damage, you need to shop for marine antifreeze.

Also, boats have in-built circulation systems. It draws water from the source and runs through the engine blocks before disposing it back to the source. This form of automotive antifreeze method has a detrimental effect on the environment. Choosing the RV antifreeze to winterize your boat will not harm the environment.

  • Fogging oil:

The winter season makes your boat susceptible to rust. Fogging oil can keep all the steel and iron parts lubricated, preventing moisture from building up.

  • Vinyl Protectant for boats:

The furniture on the deck also takes a hit during the chilly season. You can buy marine vinyl protectant to keep your deck from drying and cracking.

Here’s how you can winterize your boat!

Winter is coming! It’s time for you to warm up, and so does your boat too! Here are some excellent winterizing boat tips that will help you keep them safe during winter:

  • Step 1:  

    Start your engine to warm it up while it is in the water. This will help you to drain out the dirty fuel and impurities from the tank. Now, add the best quality fuel with filters for storage. If you have a 4-stroke outboard motor, you need to replace the fuel and filter before storing it away.

  • Step 2:  

    During the winter, when the water freezes, it tends to expand. This can damage your engine. So, as for the next step, you need to dispose of all the water from the machine.

    If you have an inboard and sterndrive engine, you need to flush your engine. You can use water muffs or anything alike to connect your garden hose to the cooling system. Keep flushing until your boat’s engine reaches normal temperature.

    To completely drain the water, you now need to remove the drain plugs. Where to find them? In most of the boats, they are usually placed in the engine block and manifold. In some cases, you might also have to exclude the water pump hose to get rid of the remaining water.

    In the case of outboard engines, checks if all the draining ports are open. Now, start the engine and clean the cooling system by flushing it with water. Continue rinsing for a few minutes.

  • Step 3:  

    Fuel can decompose over time. It results in the formation of varnish and hardened substances that decrease your engine life. So, as for the next step, fill your tank with fresh gasoline. This prevents corrosion-causing water condensation. After this, start your engine and keep it running for a few minutes to run the gas throughout the engine system.

  • Step 4:  

    The harsh winter can dry out your engine oil. It can damage the internal parts of your boat. This can further lead to cylinder scuffing. So, you need to add fogging oil to the steel and iron parts to keep it from building up moisture, thus causing rust. It keeps the engine lubricated and adds a protective layer of anti-corrosive substance.

  • Step 5:  

    Now, you need to dispose of the gear oil. After draining out the gear oil, replace it with fresh oil. Keep in mind that if water comes out or you see milky or lumpy consistency in oil, it is a warning sign. Your boat is getting contaminated by moisture. So, cover it up with new seals before sailing out next spring.

  • Step 6:

    The next step is the thorough cleaning and waxing process for your boat. It is essential to keep your boat clean.

  • Step 7:  

    Winter season usually marks a very minimal boating activity. So, docks are mostly empty. This increases the chances of break-ins. So, before storing your boat away for the season, remove all the valuable equipment and keep it locked.

  • Step 8:  

     Storing your boat in a dry place is always the best choice! Although it can be expensive. So, the best   you can do to keep your boat stored is to use a shrink wrap or any similar cover for your boat.


We hope this piece has helped you to gain an insight details about the process behind winterizing your boat. Winterizing a boat becomes an easy process once you get the hang of it!  But if you feel it is better left to the professionals, look no further contact Premier Watersports, your one stop shop for all boat related service options.

So let’s Gear up your boat for Winter!