Boating BC reminds boaters about the do’s and don’t’s for winter boat storage

Taking the time and effort to properly store your boat for colder weather is important

For many British Columbians, the winter temperatures mean it’s time to put away their paddles and oars for the year.

Taking the time and effort to properly store your boat for colder weather is one of the most important things a boat owner can do to ensure your boat has a long life. There are some tips and tricks to be aware of, and several important steps to save you time and keep your boat in great form over the winter months.

Boat winterization varies depending on the size and type of your vessel. It’s a good idea to store smaller boats out of the water in a dry, warm and covered area where they can be protected from the winter elements. If a garage or a private area is not accessible, look for a marina that offers dry boat storage or is climate-controlled. If that’s not an option, be sure your boat is covered with a tarp and all water has been drained.

Give your boat a thorough inspection and clean it using an environmentally friendly detergent. Any moisture left on your boat can cause mould and mildew, especially if the boat is to be stored for several months, and salt water damage can be even worse. Water can also cause significant damage if it freezes — use a non-toxic antifreeze for freshwater systems, and hot water heaters and a small amount in the bilge to prevent freezing.

The next step is to tend to the engine. For inboard engines, change the oil and filters, flush with fresh water and circulate antifreeze through a couple of cycles. Remember to remove spark plugs when the engine cools.

For sterndrive engines, remove any barnacles and marine growth. Check the gear oil for milkiness — it could mean leaking seals.

Flush outboard engines with fresh water. Before draining water from the engine, disconnect the fuel hose and run the engine until it stops. Remember to grease any moving parts.

Air in fuel tanks can cause condensation. To prevent this, top-up your fuel tank before storing it and treat the fuel with a fuel stabilizer.

If you cover your boat with a tarp, it can scratch shiny finishes when they billow in the wind. A solution is to pad your boat first or discard the tarp altogether and shrink wrap your boat. With shrink wrapping, it’s important to make sure the vessel is dry as moisture can cause mould to accumulate.

Boating is a year-round activity in B.C. Many recreational boaters still hunt and fish during the winter and boating is an important form of transportation in the province. If you plan on boating this winter, remember to keep these tips in mind:

• Always let someone know your float plan, including where you will be and what time you’re expecting to be back.

• Always wear a life jacket. There is a higher risk of hypothermia in the winter.

• Always bring a communication device with you and extra power source

• Assess the weather conditions before you leave and never boat under the influence.

Just Posted

Firefighters snuff out another vehicle fire near Fruitvale

Quick action Friday morning prevents fire from spreading to trees and grass

Brother’s determination pushes Ryan Cunningham to cycle 2,500 km for heart care

#Cunnycan: Ryan Cunningham ‘pushing the envelope’ to support brother Craig’s foundation

Polishing up the Silver City diamond

The B.C. Major Little League Provincial Championship begins Saturday at Andy Bilesky Park

Spruce up Castegar, we’re being judged!

Communities in Bloom officials review everything from littering to city’s environmental policies

Kootenay heat wave sparks record-breaking energy use

Energy-use is nearing FortisBC’s highest peak load on record of 746 MW from December 2008

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

RCMP help to save goats from wildfire

The fast-approaching wildfire, sparked Thursday, forced the evacuation of five homes

VIDEO: Near drowning captured on popular B.C. river

Search and Rescue manager says the popular pastime of floating in the summer is inherently dangerous

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

UPDATED: Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

BC toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment for damage caused by rare disorder EPP

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Most Read