Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Winterizing Your Boat, Dock and Lift

With winter vastly approaching and the weather cooling down, boating season at the Lake of the Ozarks is coming to an end. Now is the time to start thinking about winterizing your boat. In today's blog, your favorite boat lift company at the Lake of the Ozarks offers a few tips for getting your boat ready for the cold winter season.

1. Make a Winterizing Checklist.

There are a lot of different things you'll want to remember to do to your boat before the temperatures drop below freezing. The best way you can remember everything is to create a checklist. You definitely want to refer to your owner's manual for specifics on your boat, but here is a general checklist you can use from www.BoatUS.com:

  • Engines - 
    • Fill fuel tanks and add stabilizer to gasoline
    • Change oil and filter
    • Change fuel filters/separators in engine 
    • Check coolant level in freshwater-cooling system and add coolant is needed
    • Run antifreeze through raw-water-cooling system
    • Make sure water strainers are filled with antifreeze
    • Fog cylinders in gasoline engines
    • Top up battery electrolyte level and put batteries on marine charger
  • Installed Generator - 
    • Change oil and filter
    • Change fuel filters/separators
    • Check coolant level in freshwater-cooling system and add coolant is needed
    • Run antifreeze through raw-water-cooling system
    • Make sure water strainers are filled with antifreeze
  • Other Systems - 
    • Flush and fill air conditioning system with antifreeze 
    • Run antifreeze through watermaker and pickle as per owner's manual 
  • Outboards - 
    • Fill installed fuel tanks and add stabilizer 
    • Turn off fuel supply and fog while running 
    • Drain gear case and add fresh lubricant
    • Flush engine with muffs and fresh water 
    • Store unit in lowest position
    • Inspect/replace anodes 
    • Empty fuel from portable tanks into car tank and take them home for storage 
  • Outdrives - 
    • If water intake is in lower unit, flush and run antifreeze through using muffs 
    • Drain gear oil and add fresh lubricant 
    • Inspect/replace anodes 
  • Belowdecks - 
    • Pump out holding tank and add antifreeze to head 
    • Drain water heater and bypass it 
    • Drain freshwater system and run antifreeze through it 
    • Run antifreeze through refrigeration, deck washdown pump, etc. per owner's manual 
    • Drain shower sump and other places where water pools 
    • Remove food 
    • Open lockers to air 
    • Take home cushions or store on their sides
    • Take home portable electronics 
    • Close propane valves and take home portable canisters
    • Verify bilge pump and switch operate properly 
    • Clean and dry bilges 
    • Secure all ports and hatches 
    • Turn off all circuit breakers
  • In the Water 
    • Close all seacocks except for cockpit drains 
    • Plug exhaust ports 
    • Check docklines and chafe guards - center boat in slip 
    • Add or adjust fenders for proper placement 
  • Before You Go 
    • Tie off tiller/steering wheel 
    • Cover/shrinkwrap boat 
    • Lock cabin and leave spare key with marina manager

2. Decide How You Want to Store Your Boat.

There are several ways that you can choose to store your boat for the winter season. Many choose to pull their boat out of the water and keep it on a trailer in a storage facility. However, often times people find it either too expensive or too difficult to find a place. Others choose in-water boat storage on their Lake of the Ozarks boat lift. This option allows you to get back out on the water earlier in the spring. If you choose to store your boat in the water, you need to make sure you have a proper lift to keep your boat raised out the water, reducing the changes of damage.

3. Have Your Boat Lift Checked Out.

Whether you're storing your boat on a lift for the winter or not, now is the time to take care of routine maintenance on your boat lift. Whether you have some loose bushings or hoses, Summerset Boat Lifts can get your boat lift in tip-top shape. Then if you're storing your boat on it, you'll rest assured your boat is in good hands. Even if you're not storing your boat on your lift for the winter, your lift will be ready to use when spring rolls around.

4. Consider Purchasing a De-Icer. 

In-water storage becomes even easier when you choose to have a de-icer on your dock. Even if you're not keeping your boat in the water, installing a de-icer will protect your boat lift and your dock from ice damage. Ice can break up entire dock structures, as well as age the wood and even splinter the surface. The best way to protect your dock and lift is with a de-icer, which you can purchase from the best boat lift dealer at the Lake of the Ozarks, Summerset Boat Lifts.

5. Make Sure Your Insurance Coverage is Adequate. 

Insurance is there to protect you during unexpected circumstances. No matter how well you prepare for winter, there's always a chance of something, such as severe weather, causing damage to your boat, lift and/or dock. First off, you want to make sure you have liability protection because accidents can happen on your dock no matter how careful you and your guests are. You'll also want to purchase enough physical damage coverage to include the value of your boat, dock, lift and any other associated accessories. Coverage for your dock collapsing under the weight of ice and snow is another aspect you'll want to consider. The best way to make sure you're fully covered is to talk to an independent insurance agent that is familiar with the Lake of the Ozarks and the specific risks associated with this area.

For all your boat lift needs, whether it be a new lift or boat lift maintenance at the Lake of the Ozarks, Summerset Boat Lifts has you covered. Now is the time to make sure your boat lift is ready for winter by scheduling a fall maintenance check. Give us a call at 573-348-5073 today! Be surprised at how soon you may see a representative of Summerset Boat Lifts on your dock!

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065
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