With boating season coming to an end for most of the country, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing and protecting your valuable recreational asset. It’s no secret that winter weather can wreak havoc on a boat that’s not prepared for hibernation. The time and effort you put in now will have a definite effect on your boat’s performance and save you time and money come next season. Here are SmartPlug’s tips on winterizing your boat: 1. Engine Care Before you stow your boat away for the winter, your engine(s) definitely need some TLC. For inboard engines: an oil change is key, as is flushing the engine with non-toxic antifreeze. For outboard engines: treat your fuel tank with fuel stabilizer, flush the engine with fresh water, and lightly lubricate the exterior. 2. Fresh Water System Properly draining your fresh water system is a must before winter storage. A frozen water pipe can do major damage to your boat. Be sure to completely drain the fresh water tank and water heater and pump a non-toxic antifreeze into the system. 3. Exterior Your boat should receive a thorough exterior cleaning before storing for the winter. Pressure wash the hull and ensure barnacles are removed from props, shafts, rudders, struts, and trim tabs. Now would be a great time to wax the exterior, too. 4. Interior Once you take care of your exterior, make sure you remove all valuables, electronics, flares, fenders, etc. from your boat. Take time to open all drawers and cabinets to clean them out thoroughly. Don’t forget to clean out your refrigerator and freezer, too. You may also want to invest in a dehumidifier to keep your boat dry and mildew-free. 5. Electrical System Lastly, before you store your boat for the off-season, be sure to check your electrical connector and power cord. Ensure there are no signs of burning, discoloring, or other damage. Now would be the best time to replace any questionable components. View our full marine product line for a hassle-free upgrade, and you’ll be ready to hit the water come springtime. At SmartPlug, we know that a person’s boat is often their prized possession. If you live in a region where there is an off season for boating, we hope you take the time to winterize your boat. This will save you time, money, and effort, and ensure your boat is more than ready to get back on the water come next season!