NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
How To Avoid The Six Most Common Winterizing Mistakes
Free BoatUS Winterizing Guide Available
With winter approaching, BoatUS Marine Insurance has reviewed its claim files and reports the following six most common mistakes made when winterizing a boat:
- Failure to winterize the engine: Freezing temperatures occur in all 50 states and while they are taken seriously up north, it’s the balmy states of California, Florida, Texas, Alabama and Georgia where boaters are most likely to have freeze-related damage to engine blocks. It routinely occurs to boats stored ashore here. Boats left in a slip are less susceptible to sudden freezing as the surrounding water retains heat longer than air.
- Failure to drain water from sea strainer: If your winterizing plan calls for draining the engine, the seawater strainer must be winterized or residual water could freeze and rupture the watertight seal. Sometimes you won’t know it’s damaged until spring launching and water begins to trickle in.
- Failure to close seacocks: For boats left in the water, leaving seacocks open over the winter is like going on extended vacation without locking the house. If a thru-hull cannot be closed the vessel must be stored ashore – the sole exception are cockpit drains. Heavy snow loads can also force your boat under, allowing water to enter thru-hulls normally well above the water line.
- Clogged petcocks: Engine cooling system petcocks clogged by rust or other debris can prevent water from fully draining. If one is plugged, try using a coat hanger to clear the blockage or use the engine’s intake hose to flush anti-freeze through the system.
- Leaving open boats in the water over winter: Boats with large open cockpits or low freeboard can easily be pushed underwater by the weight of accumulated ice and snow. Always store them ashore.
- Using bimini covers as winter storage covers: A cover that protects the crew from the sun does a lousy job protecting the boat from freezing rain and snow. Unlike a bonafide winter cover, biminis tend to rip apart and age prematurely by the effects of winter weather.
To get a free copy of the BoatUS Winterizing Guide full of tips to help you prepare your vessel for the winter, go to http://www. BoatUS.com/Seaworthy and click on “Winterizing Your Boat,” or call 800-283-2883.
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 870 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.