Ask Barry: Special Winter Reminder


Don't be caught unprepared by the cold weather and holiday season. In the northern United States many folks are getting their boats out of the water and preparing them for the winter. Even in the South, there can be long periods during the holidays and the winter where your boat sits untouched. It's critical that we all check that our favorite recreational investment is cared for properly.

Here's a few general tips:

  • Insurance policies generally don’t coverage damage caused by lack of maintenance or neglect. Check your boat often, maintain it in good condition, and protect one of you most valuable assets.
  • The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under cover, in a climate-controlled boat storage area.
  • For larger vessels, make sure you're getting a professional to look at them once a year. The USCG provides free vessel safety checks, regardless of size.

If you will be taking care of your boat yourself, I want to make sure you're winterizing it properly. You can do this by following these tips from Discover Boating:

  • Add gas stabilizer.
  • Check plugs, wires, rotor, cap.
  • Check belts, adjust tension.
  • Check hoses.
  • Clean fuel screens, replace fuel filter.
  • Check shift/throttle cables and settings.
  • Lube shift/throttle cables and linkages.
  • Flush cooling system.

Making a checklist can help you remember everything you need to do. Remember, the time and effort you spend now will have a definite effect on your boat's performance, or lack thereof, and certainly save you time, effort and money come spring.

Check out Discover Boating for thorough guides on boat and engines of all kinds. Make sure you follow you manufacturer's guidelines and consult professionals if need help.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions I may assist with. Contact me directly at or call 916-712-7500.