So what to do?
The best place to start is with your owner’s manual.
But here are just a few ideas to consider:
Run the engine to warm it up. Shut it off and drain and change the oil and filter as needed.
Flush the engine with antifreeze (nontoxic environmentally friendly!)
Change the fluid in your transmission.
Remove the spark plugs and fog the engine. Check plugs and change them as need
Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. Some experts recommend a full tank of gas because it allows less room for condensation to form. Others claim that if you have less fuel in the tank, there is less to spoil over the winter and less to dispose of in the spring. You decide.
Check and change the fuel filters as needed.
Clean the bilges. It’s much easier to do this now than in the spring when you just want to get out on the water. Lubricate moving parts and flush with antifreeze.
If you have a fresh water system, drain it completely. Disconnect the tank and the hot water heater. Flush the entire system with antifreeze. Put some antifreeze in the hot water tank.
Clean the Head. Pump out the holding tank. Flush thoroughly with fresh water. Run a cleaning agent through the system. Take your time. This is another job that’s much better to do now than in the spring. Flush thoroughly. CHECK YOUR OWNERS MANUAL and if OK. add antifreeze and pump through the entire unit.
Pressure wash the hull, props and trim tabs. Open all seacocks and drain.
Check prop and spline and lube as necessary. Lube throttle and all cables and linkages.
Check the hull for any damage. Think about making repairs now, or take notes for the spring. Wax and polish. It’s great for the boat and a great way to check the hull.
Check the interior thoroughly. Clean all upholstery and carpet. Get rid of stains now! Open and clean all compartments, lockers refrigerators etc. Leave drawers and doors open. Wash windows. Dry completely and/or remove or properly stow all cushions, fenders, PFDs, fishing and other recreational gear. Don’t lock any damp items in any compartments! Turn off all electronics either remove them or secure them. Remove flares from the boat. Take advantage of the power outlets in the Iron Harbor Storage Units to keep your batteries charged, but use a trickle charger to avoid causing any damage to the battery.
And don’t forget the trailer. Make sure the tires are properly inflated and the wheels lubed.
If you have additional tips let us know.