3 Items to Include in Your Boat Winterization Checklist

There are very few times when the weather is less than ideal to take your boat out on the water in South Florida. However, in the middle of winter, there are some important boat winterization tasks you should complete to keep your vessel in tip-top shape.

Boat winterization may have never been something you thought would be important if you live in South Florida. But because of this misconception, boaters in more moderate temperatures, such as Florida, neglect the few chilly nights that can drastically affect their boats. Even if your boat isn’t not docked in the frigid and snowy north where there are hard freezes that last for months, there are still a few precautions to take.

boat on water

Westmarine.com stated:

“According to the marine insurers at BoatUS, states like these (Texas, Florida, etc.) generate the highest number of freeze-related insurance claims. That’s because boaters in more temperate locations sometimes choose to roll the dice and bet on skating through the occasional cold snap—which can cost a pretty penny when they lose.”

3 Items to Include on your Boat Winterization Checklist

Just like your home or your car, it is important to maintain, or winterize, your boat for cold spells. Here are three important items to include on your boat winterization checklist to help you prepare your boat for winter.

boat by city

#1: Use Antifreeze

Residual water can seep into the tiniest of spaces. Like your pipes at home, if water freezes in them, it can freeze and crack the pipe. To help prevent residual water from damaging your boat’s engine block, you should consider using the appropriate antifreeze solution, such as non-toxic propylene glycol.

#2: Keep Your Boat Ventilated

Boats are subject to mold and/or mildew buildup. They are even more susceptible to this when they are left stored away for the chilly winter days because moisture can get trapped inside.

But that can be easily avoided if your vessel is properly ventilated. To avoid the health hassle, odor, and damage caused by mold and mildew build-up, actively keep your boat ventilated as best as possible with cowl, clamshell, and louvered ventilators.

#3: Properly Wet Store Your Boat

If you choose to wet store your boat, it may be less susceptible to freeze damage. However, one of the trade-offs is that it could sink or be susceptible to osmotic blistering if it’s made of fiberglass. Here are a few pointers if you choose to keep your boat stored on the water during winter:

  1. Check that your dock lines are in good condition and consider adding chafing gear
  2. Help prevent any ice from forming, which can potentially lead to ice jacking, by installing a de-icer in your boat’s slip

Do You Have the Right Boat Insurance Coverage?

While you may not have to worry about snow piling up on your boat during winters in South Florida, you should still take proper precautions and winterize your boat. You should also double-check your boat insurance to see if any potential damages resulting from winter weather will be covered.

If not, you may want to consider a policy that will, which is often easier said than done. At GWK insurance, we help individuals find the best insurance policies that meet their budget, lifestyle, and needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help find the best boat insurance policy for you.