Winter is nearly here. And if you’re fortunate enough to live in the Southern Hemisphere, that means trading in t-shirts for long sleeves and sandals for shoes. If you’re like us; jackets, gloves, boots are being pulled out of hibernation and boats are heading inside for winterization. We’ve pulled together a list of tips to help you prepare for winter and if you’re lucky and don’t know what cold is, these tips can help you stay organized in between hunting and fishing season or if you’re waiting on that new boat to arrive.
Now is the time to ditch that lucky Senko that’s been sitting on your deck since the May opener. After hours on the water, your boat has probably accumulated odds and ends from the season along with smells and mysterious slimes. Cleaning out your rod lockers and storage compartments can fend off unwelcome sights and smells come spring. It’s also a great time to reorganize tackle, fix or replace broken lure boxes and take inventory for the coming season. Rods and reels can be inspected for damage, cleaned and respooled with fresh line if necessary.
Your eyes under the water could likely use some TLC as well. Wiping down your screens, inspecting mounts for cracks or bends and even checking the torque on your DuraSafe E-LOCKS® can help you prep for spring. It’s also a great time to pull your waypoints off your fish finders and back them up on a computer. Nothing is worse than plugging in a year’s worth of waypoints only to find a corrupted file.
Sitting unused in a cold garage for months on end can kill even the toughest batteries. Disconnecting your battery is one way to stop slow drain, but the best option is to invest in a quality charger. Whether it’s an onboard system or an external charger, it’s a great way to preserve your batteries. Not to mention batteries are expensive and we’d all rather spend that money on new rods, reels and swimbaits versus a new battery.
Now this is where it can get complicated. If you’re mechanically inclined, winterizing your outboard isn’t a big deal, but if you’re hesitant, it might be better to trust a dealer or shop to service your engine. Below is a checklist of items that applies to most outboards.
- Change lower unit lubricant.
- Use a fuel additive in the boat’s main and kicker tanks to stabilize the fuel over the winter months.
- Clean water deposits off of the boat and motor, with a spray mix of 50% vinegar and 50% water.
- After water spot removal, thoroughly clean boat and motor and wax for the winter.
- Make sure that the motor is in the lowered position during storage.
- Dry the boat out, and cover. Add dryer sheets inside under the cover to discourage mouse traffic.
Following these tips will help make getting on the water for the first time that much easier next season. And it might open up room for that next toy you’ve had your eyes on too.