Magazine article USA TODAY

Storage Tips for Boaters

Magazine article USA TODAY

Storage Tips for Boaters

Article excerpt

Soon it will be time to make sure your warm-weather toys--especially boats--do not deteriorate during the "hibernation" season. There are a few simple measures for winterizing and protecting that can pretty much guarantee your water sporting pleasure will be at peak performance again next spring.

"Don't forget to disconnect the batteries and store them somewhere warm, dry, and elevated, such as on a wooden block," advises boating expert Helen Ayravainen of Westport, Wash., who is descended from five generations of Finnish sea captains. "Change the engine oil and filter, too. Many mistakenly don't consider this important since the motor won't be running--yet, they are essential to a sound winterizing program. If you're dealing with salt water, you may want to flush out with fresh water."

A good start for protecting internal components is to drain the engine block and manifolds, then fill the engine with antifreeze. The lower unit gear oil also should be drained and replaced with fresh oil in the stern drives only. …

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