Boating Season is Here! Time to De-Winterize Your Watercraft

New England residents know how long winters in the region last – and yet, it is still disappointing every year when “spring” rolls around but it’s still too cold to use your boat out on the water, or enjoy other activities outdoors. Thankfully, however, winter has lingered in Connecticut for long enough this year, and fun-filled times in the sun are just over the horizon. If you’re looking forward to using your boat soon, you should keep these important tips in mind for de-winterizing your boat and preparing for boating season.

1. Check your oil and battery.

Over the winter, long periods of disuse tend to wear down your engine oil and can potentially kill your battery if temperatures dip too low. As a result, make sure to check both of these before you begin boating. Make sure that you change the engine oil and filter, and reattach the cables of your battery, checking that the terminals are not corroded. Above all, make sure that the battery works and hasn’t run out of juice.

2. Take a look at your belts.

Tighten the belts so they fit snugly in the pulley grooves, making sure that they are not too worn and that as a result they don’t slip out. Check for black soot as a sign that the belt is too worn and needs to be replaced.

3. Inspect your fuel and cooling systems.

The cold weather can make fuel hoses brittle and prone to cracking, so it’s important to check this before starting off. Top off your tank with gas and change the fuel filter, making sure that the fuel line is attached and not cracked. You should have drained your cooling system before the really cold weather set in to prevent it from freezing, so you should refill it at this point.

4. Clean your distributor.

Winter can corrode the distributor on your boat, so take the cap off and clean it of any residue. You should also make sure that the connections are restored before you begin boating again for the summer.

Finally, remember to renew your watercraft insurance policy before you hit the open water, so you can feel secure knowing that you are protected in any event that may occur. If you need to review, renew, or purchase a brand new insurance policy for your boat or other watercraft, contact the office of Waitte’s Insurance Agency by email or via phone at (860) 886-1961.

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