Taking Your Boat Out of Winter Storage – Quick Tips from HAGERTY Marine Insurance.

The official Woody Boater boat 'Suzy" having her new correct top being installed at Tyfany Yachts in Burgess VA. Its almost get wet time!

The official Woody Boater boat ‘Suzy” having her new correct top being installed at Tiffany Yachts in Burgess VA. Its almost get wet time!

This weekend here in the mid Atlantic, it’s going to be 70 degrees. The first real believable start of spring. And the one thing on our minds here at Woody Boater, is….. I need to take my allergy pills now…In a couple weeks, though we are going to put our boats into the water. DO NOT FORGET TO CALL HAGERTY if your boat was on storage mode. Many folks forget to change the status of there boats and that might not be a good thing if something happens on the water. And the first couple times in the water after a winter storage can be one of the more risky times. So call… The good folks at Hagerty Marine Insurance also sent along these tips on getting ready for a fun summer of boating.

Keeping your boat in good working order is as much a part of the boating experience as boating itself.

This is especially true when taking your vessel out of a long hibernation in winter storage. Here are some quick tips to help you prepare your craft for another great season on the water.

General Maintenance
• Check all screws, bolts and other fittings to ensure they are properly secured.
• Keep the hulls and decks of the boat cleaned and waxed. This will protect the hull from sun damage and hairline cracks and will help increase your fuel efficiency.
• Coat all electrical fittings with a water-repelling, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor, such as Pertox.

Engines and Fuel Systems
• Inspect fuel lines, fill and vent hoses for softness, brittleness or cracking.
• Check all joints for leaks.
• Clean and tighten both ends of the battery cables. Don’t forget to check the battery water level.
• Examine fuel tanks, fuel pumps, filters and cooling hoses for any leaks. Replace any rusted clamps.

• Inspect tire treads and sidewalls for cracks or lack of tread, and replace as necessary. Be sure to double-check air pressure.
• Look over the bearings and repack as needed, since these tend to run dry after repeated exposure to water.
• Test tail and back-up lights.

Before Getting Wet
• Examine the prop for dings, pitting and distortion, as well as the hull for blisters and stress cracks.
• Make sure the engine intake sea strainer is free of corrosion and is properly secured.
• With your boat on the trailer, swell the planks or strakes by wetting the bottom (preferably from the outside) to confirm you won’t overtake the bilge pump capacity when you launch.

Last But Not Least
• Check expiration dates on flares and fire extinguishers.
• Inspect dock and anchor lines for chaffing.
• Update or replace old charts and waterway guides.
• Make sure your boating license and registration are up-to-date and stored in a safe, waterproof place.

Hagerty Insurance Agency, Inc. is the leading insurance agency for classic cars and boats in the nation. In addition to insurance for qualifying boats, Hagerty offers a multitude of resources catering to the needs of classic car and boat enthusiasts including Hagerty Classic Cars Magazine, Hagerty Price Guide, and a youth outreach program called Operation Ignite! geared towards getting young people involved in this industry. For more information, call (800) 762-2628 or visit www.hagertymarine.com

33 replies
  1. matt
    matt says:

    How did we miss that? Thanks Jim. Also. Know that something will go wrong. Something very stupid. Coil wire out? Gas on? Did you flick the kill switch?

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      That would depend on the number and pumping capacity of your bilge pumps. As long as both pumps are working, Squirt will float for a surprisingly long time without a plug in.

  2. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Are those red warning lights over your chrome plated bilge drain? You think of everything!

  3. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    I like the first bullet in Hagerty’s General Maintenance list: “tighten all loose screws and bolts”!!! If I would have done that Tuesday morning in Mt Dora, Matt and I could have spent Tuesday night at Al’s Landing having Boat Drinks, instead of being upside down in my bilge!!!
    A big thanks again, Matt, here’s to the “BROTHERHOOD of the BILGE”…
    Now, where did I put those new batteries for Matt’s big ol’ flashlight?

  4. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Yep sean, that nut would be ME!
    I am off to put the battery back in a whirlwind and pump in some lower unit lube and hit the ramp!

    Go Boating!

    John in Va.

  5. Alex
    Alex says:

    Snowing here. Again. And again. And again. Curse you endless Michigan winter! If it weren’t for the pitter patter of equally endless sibling rivalry, and the propensity of said siblings to damage property, I’d be positively distraught.
    Yes, that was sarcasm.

  6. brian t
    brian t says:

    Not to be a sourpuss or anything but……

    Check and WEAR your flotation device at all times.

    ya ya, I know wearing a device makes you look like a dork and it is so uncool but then again, few people look cool at their funeral after having drowned.

    Check out the dude below at the 1:30 mark. He is alive today because he had his vest on.


    • Richard Gambino
      Richard Gambino says:

      Brian T I promise to always wear my vest if you can make my B engine go faster than a little girl in inflatable swimmies. I’m so tired of them passing me.

      • brian t
        brian t says:

        That photo is fake! It’s doctored up and photoshopped and all!

        Yes, I do wear mine now after last summer’s warning. That photo was pre “the warning”.

        Do as I do now and not like I used to do.

  7. Old Salt
    Old Salt says:

    If you have enough beer, friends and five gallon buckets you don’t need a bilge plug.!!!!!

  8. Alex
    Alex says:

    brian t, amen! I never boat without mine. Self inflating. $120. Comfortable. Not restrictive. Cool on hot days. And the cheapest life insurance there is. My whole family always wears them. No excuse otherwise. It’s like wearing a seatbelt. Common sense.

  9. Alex
    Alex says:

    Ok, so my wife is reading today’s posting. She gets to my comment, looks at me and says: “so your idea of a “happy place” is a another man on a swim floatie?”

    Yep, classic example of marital “what we have here is a failure to communicate.”

    Ordinarily, I’d let it go. But now I’m wondering if others misinterpreted me too. So here’s the story.

    That image is a screen shot of Dustin Hoffman in “The Graduate.”

    Dustin likes girls. Older girls. Younger girls. Mothers. Daughters. Mothers, then their daughters. Makes no difference to his character, a high school graduate called Benjamin Braddock. But I digress…

    The point is, in this scene, Dustin is just trying to find his happy place. Soooo, I thought it was an appropriate posting.

    P.S. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

    • Richard Gambino
      Richard Gambino says:

      To be perfectly honest I’ve seen the movie and still didn’t recognize Hoffman until you mentioned it. My 1st thought mirrored your wife’s. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just thought you were giving us all some insight on your personal life. 🙂

  10. Dustin Hoffman
    Dustin Hoffman says:

    Richard, I had two other images to choose from. Equally confusing. Then again, maybe less so.

  11. Moosemeat
    Moosemeat says:

    OK, I’m late to this party, but the Hagerty folks are recommending wax on the hull and decks. However, all the wooden boat articles and books I’ve read say not to use wax as it’s a bear to remove it when it’s time to re-finish.
    Is there an easy was to remove the wax?

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