As everyone has noticed for the past several weeks, old man winter has been gone on vacation, or something. We have been enjoying spring - like weather during what should be the onset of our cold weather season. In fact, it has been so nice outdoors, I have not considered deer hunting or duck hunting, two of my favorite cold weather endeavors. Instead, I have been focusing on my bass fishing, which has been pretty good. It looks like things are about to change. According to the weather forecast, we are in for a bit of seasonal weather, in other words, it’s gonna get cold and stay that way for a while.
If you are like me, ready to embark on hunting season now that it feels more like hunting season, you need to remember to take care of your boats and watercrafts before it gets much colder. Even if you plan on using your fishing boat during the winter, there are a few things you need to do in order to protect your investment and avoid costly repairs.
If you own a boat that you will definitely not be using during the cold weather months, such as an inboard ski boat or a personal watercraft, you should consider having it winterized by a professional. Here in Corsicana, Blake’s Boats can drain the water from your motor, fog it to protect the inside of the motor and get it ready for the cold months ahead. Spending a few dollars now can help reduce the risk of spending a lot of dollars in the spring, when you get out to the lake and find you have sever damage to your motor. Call Lamar Blake at 903-872-1292 to set an appointment or to get supplies, should you want to do it yourself.
A good choice for your personal watercraft winterization is Kenneth Napps of Cedar Creek Watersports. I bought my PWC from them and Kenneth does all of the work on it. He has been selling and servicing PWC’s since they came out. Like Blake’s Boats, Cedar Creek Watersports does a thorough job at a reasonable price. You can reach Kenneth at 903-451-9585 to set up an appointment.
Now, what if you plan on using your fishing boat during the winter months, like I do. For starters, try to get your boat inside somewhere. The garage would be a great place. If you cannot use the garage or do not have one, it might be worth the money to rent a storage space for you boat to protect it from the elements during the cold weather months. The price of the storage unit for a few months would certainly be cheaper than repairing a motor damaged by freezing weather. If both of these options are out of the question, at least get the boat covered with a tarp or boat cover. This will not be as good as being stored inside, but it will be better than nothing.
Each time that I come off of the water during cold weather months, I pull the drain plug on my boat and store it jacked up so the water will run out of it. I turn on my aerator pumps and bilge pumps to make sure all of the water is out of the lines to prevent them from breaking in freezing weather. I also trim my motor all the way down after coming off the ramp to allow the water to drain out of the lower unit of my motor. Water trapped inside the lower unit can freeze causing severe damage to the seals and the lower unit housing. This is especially important for boats stored outside.
If you must store your boat outside during freezing weather, as I have had to do in the past, it might be a good idea wrap the lower unit and prop with a plastic bag to prevent water from entering the lower unit should it rain, sleet or snow. It is also advisable for boats being stored outside to be stored with the motor trimmed down to help prevent water from entering the motor.
Finally, don’t forget the batteries. I like to keep my batteries charged up at all times. I never know when the weather might turn nice and I want to go fishing, but more importantly, it is better for your batteries to keep them charged. They will last longer if you keep them charged. It is extremely important to protect them from freezing. If necessary, remove them from the boat and store them somewhere they can be protected from freezing.
If you have any question about winterizing your boats, please give Lamar Blake or Kenneth Napps a call. They will be happy to answer any questions you might have or set you up with an appointment to get the work done. By taking care of our boat now, before you loose site of the need, you will save yourself a lot of headaches and heartaches, not to mention cash when you are ready to use it again.
Until next time, enjoy the Texas Outdoors.