Boating isn’t summer-exclusive. Instead, it’s a hobby that should be enjoyed year-round. There’s no reason at all why you can’t enjoy the cool, calming waves just because it’s a little chilly outside.
In fact, some people will even prefer winter boating to summer boating. This is because, in the winter, far fewer people are out on a boat trip. This means less traffic and more seclusion for you. Yay!
To survive a winter boating trip, you need to make sure that you prepare adequately. In this article, we’ll give you 5 tips to make your winter boat rides are just as enjoyable as the summer ones while keeping your boat in tip-top shape.
One of the most important things that you can do during the winter to keep your boat functioning well is changing the oil. That’s because the chilly temperatures of the winter increase the viscosity (or resistance to flow) of the oil.
That, in turn, makes a high-weight oil harder to flow through the engine and lubricate all of the moving components. To ensure that the engine experiences adequate lubrication, you should change the oil out for a lower-weight one that isn’t as vicious.
Next up, install a trickle charger. Chances are, the durations between your boat trips will be a tad longer than in the summer. You want to keep your boat charged up for when you want to use it, but you don’t want to let it overcharge and risk damaging the battery.
A trickle charger will charge the battery slowly over time, without letting it overcharge. The small expense of this boat accessory will more than pay for itself in the long-term when you don’t have to replace the battery.
This tip should be fairly obvious, but the damage if not performed is significant, so it bears repeating!
Always lift your boat out of the water during the winter. Even if you live somewhere that isn’t that cold, there’s always a chain of a cold snap freezing the top of the water, which can have terrible consequences for your boat’s hull if it’s in the water. Keep your boat on a lift well clear of the water.
Winter’s temperatures that see-saw back and forth across the freezing point of water can cause some serious expansion and compression in your boat’s hull. The result could be that leaks spring up in even the best walkaround boats. You want to discover these leaks only when you’re moored to the dock, not out on the water.
Last but not least, for an enjoyable trip, make sure that you’re picking the right destinations for your boat trip. Some destinations will be far more enjoyable in the summer since summer brings with it great views and beautiful vegetation. Pick places to go that will be worth the trip year-round.
There you have it — with these five tips, your next boat trip in the winter will be just as grand as your last one in the summer!
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