As much as our boats crave it in the summer, water poses the biggest threat in the off-season in the form of mildew, corrosion, and especially damage from freezing. To ensure a quick and easy return to wakesurfing next season, winterizing your boat is a must-do, particularly if you live in more northern areas where the temps routinely drop below freezing.
If you're planning to go the DIY route, here are some basics you don't want to skip (check your boat's owners manual to guarantee you tackle all the winterization recommendations for your specific make/model).
Ensure all water has been drained and removed from engine, bilge, ballasts, and hoses. Frozen water expands leading to damage including engine cracks, split hoses, and more.
Fuel Stabilizer & Top Off
Add a good fuel stabilizer and run it through the engine. This prevents your fuel from degrading/gumming up over winter, leaving your fuel ready for your 1st trip back next season. Don't forget to top off the fuel to reduce condensation from forming. This is also a great time to change the fuel filter!
Fill the engine block with antifreeze (choose strength suitable for your area). This will prevent residual water from freezing and producing cracks. The last thing you want come spring is a cracked block. Non-toxic propylene glycol antifreeze is best in guaranteeing you don't contaminate the lakes.
Old oil can corrode engine components and shorten engine life. Some owners prefer to change the oil and oil filter at the beginning of each season. Whatever your preference, be sure to check it regularly and change as needed.
Disconnect the battery and store it indoors, or if you'd prefer to leave it installed, hook it up to a trickle charger. Either way will leave you with a fresh battery for next season.
As you prepare for your boat's winter hibernation, this is a great time to give her a thorough cleaning and get her all waxed up. It's also a prime time to inspect hoses, clamps, and the prop for damages. These fixes are best done during the cold months to prevent loss of prime surf time.
Especially if you have to store your boat outdoors, protect it with a good winter worthy cover. This may be the hardest part of all, as it signals your final farewell until the warmer weather returns next season.
End of season/off season is also a great time to get a killer deal on last season's boards or be the 1st to snag next's season's models. Be sure to check out our current selection of wakesurf boards to find the next one to add to your quiver!
Looking to bypass winterization? You can always upgrade your boat (insert winking face). If this sounds like a route you'd like to take, check out our blog Preparing To Sell Your Boat.