Winterizing Your Boat

After being admirably rewarded for our patience waiting for summer in 2012 that seemed to last and last we now wake up to the rude awakening that winter storm season is now upon us. As the early season “wet coast” storms remind us we all need to prepare for everything Mother Nature has to throw our way this winter. So, courtesy of Port Alberni Port Authority Manager of Marina Services, Mike Carter, here are some basic tips every boater should follow to prepare their vessels for the winter*
If you keep your vessel stored out of the water:
• For inboard engines that are raw-water cooled, be sure to drain the water or, if not raw-water cooled, ensure your engine has the proper mixture of antifreeze
• Leave the plug out
• Grease fittings appropriately
• Leave leg down so as not to fill with rain water
• If your vessel is not covered overhead use a tarp and ensure rain water does not pool
• If using a light bulb or other means to provide heat inside your vessel ensure adequate air flow
If you store your vessel in the water:
• Be sure the batteries are charged
• Test the vessel’s automatic bilge
• Set the docking lines and fenders to allow for inclement weather
• Secure canopies/canvas/tarps to be leak free and resistant to catching the wind
• Check your vessel regularly
*All boaters should also consult their vessel’s operators’ manual for guidelines specific to their particular manufacturer specifications.
Lastly, we West Coasters are hearty folks who won’t let a little wind and rain get in the way of our enjoyment of the outdoors. Many of you will continue to take to the waters of the Alberni Inlet and Barkley Sound. When you do, please do yourselves, your family, loved ones and Search & Rescue squads a big favour – be prepared and be safe!