Boat Maintenance & Repair Forum

Winterize boat & trailer

by argonaut » 15 Oct 2016, 17:48

Winterizing the boat - my approach

To accompany my post on winterizing my Inboard adding this extra information as to what I do for the boat and trailer. This is my method, it may not be for you - but might be of use for those new to boating.

The boat is washed after each use – and end of season it gets a full polish, my current product is Meguairs Marine wax found it so much easier to use that paste waxes. My logic for doing this now … is that there is a of dust and crud that gets blown over hull when it is in boat store, so this protects it until April – when I polish again for the start of season. I also do this mid season as well. Combined with washing after every use keeps my hull pristine condition.

The carpets are removed washed and dried, then stored in a large plastic mattress bag along with a couple of silica gel de-humidifier units, great for enclosed spaces – recharge them weekly in first month as they suck moisture out of carpets, then just check monthly.
The boat had its normal wash, on the last one of the year I leave the bung in place, I then put a bucket of hot water with detergent into the ski hatch which flows down into the bilge …. Leave it for 15 mins or so, then remove bung with front of trailer elevated on blocks to allow a good drain out.
Bilge really does look clean afterwards.

While this is happening I spray all the hinges with a salt dissolving solution ……. Several products around, I found one to be particularly good – you can see salt deposits fizzing away … Rinse off after it has done its job.
All my towlines (waterski etc) are rinsed off & dried after each trip, so they are all left in place under bench seat, the life jackets, first aid kit & radio are removed.
I then remove the under dash access plate and give all the myriad of connectors a light spray with Corrosion block (, and also the now dry hinges.
I remove the waterski tower (actually just hoist it up in the boat shed so clear of the boat), greasing the swivel joints.
All hinges and the bucket seat adjusters are given light spray of corrosion block.
The seats have already been fully cleaned & dried as part of normal weekly maintenance, but I put a few 4x2” wood offcuts in place to hold up front of bench seats (as I do for engine hatch)
I place a dehumidifier in the middle of the cockpit … I have a reasonably compact unit -
I fit a pvc hose from humidifier into ski hatch, and out under engine through the bung hole …. Then into a 5Lit plastic container. I run this is fully auto mode all winter …….. in first few weeks it sucks out around 5L of water a week ….. I don’t set it to driest setting – leave it at 60% rh
Being a rotating wheel desiccant model – it will work in cold weather where compressor units struggle.

I line it up so air intake is from the ski hatch which I leave open … and have air out directed towards the wedged open engine hatch & bench seats.

I have a bowrider so I also arrange that all seat in the bow area are lifted up to allow the drying.
I fit the standard bow cover & cockpit cover, these have telescopic poles so they are ‘tented’ no pools of water can collect – putting a smear of silicon grease on all of the ‘poppers’, then I put a 2nd overall cover on the boat which not only covers the standard cover but encloses transom walkways & bathing platform ……… I can’t put this cover on when Tower is in place, hence reason for removing tower.
I check all bearings are full of grease – use Bearing buddies – so just top up the reservoir – just to make sure no water is in there.
With boat in its winter resting place, I put 2 axle stands either side of the rear axle cross beam, and jack up trailer until all 4 tyres just clear of floor – so not under load over winter. Once a month over winter I spin the wheels by hand just to give the greased parts a stir.
I also put an axle stand under front drawbar, so no weight on jockey wheel.
The various grease points on the hitch & brake mechanism are given a top up, and I also grease all working parts of the winch, and then cover winch with a plastic bag & bungee to keep dry.
Under the boat I give the brake compensator mechanics a liberal spray with a rust preventative oil (3 in 1 or similar) but not WD40 as that actually washes off any rust remover (its mainly white spirit)
The lighting board has the lenses removed and insides sprayed with Corrosion block, and the same at the plug – previously I would usually have to do some wiring work on 7 pin plug – but since switching to 13 pin … they are so far better, don’t go wrong.

Lock the security chain, apply wheel clamp, bungy a plastic bag over the hitch, switch on dehumidifier and walk away - a sad part of the year, as it means no more riding my SkySki for 5 months.
Last edited by argonaut on 25 Sep 2017, 21:44, edited 2 times in total.
Monterey 194fs with Monster MTK tower + water and SkySki = fun ...... towed by Kodiaq Edition
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by BruceK » 07 Sep 2017, 16:18

:o too soon to soon. Dont invoke the weather gods!

by argonaut » 07 Sep 2017, 17:19

The post was in 2016
Monterey 194fs with Monster MTK tower + water and SkySki = fun ...... towed by Kodiaq Edition
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