Dewinterize a boat

10 Tips for How to Dewinterize a Boat & Get it Ready for Spring

We are embarking on one of boaters’ favorite times of the year, boating season! Well, at least for those who live where there are four seasons. 

The snow is starting to melt, days are getting longer, and soon you’ll be putting your boat in the water. 

Before that happens, you’re going to have to put in some work to make sure she is in tip-top shape so you can enjoy a great boating season. We have 10 tips on how to dewinterize your boat.  

Follow these 10 steps on how to dewinterize your boat:

1. Start at the Top by Uncovering Your Boat

If you have had your boat covered all winter, whether inside or outside, you will want to remove the cover and check for any damage. Throughout the winter months, you may find that there may have been gaps in your cover, giving the elements and animals access to your boat. 

We have the covers you need to protect your boat!  

Boats parked on trailers with protective coversBoats parked on trailers with protective covers

2. Damage Control

You will want to carefully check your boat for any damage to the interior and exterior physical surfaces. Pay close attention to any dents since they can lead to leaks, and you’ll want to add this to your list of items to be fixed before you embark on your journey.  

Twin boat motors with coversTwin boat motors with covers

3. Check Your Engine

You want to make sure there is no damage to either the engine or propeller. Check for any damage to the fuel lines that may have cracked over the winter. 

As far as general boat engine maintenance, you’ll want to: 

  • Change the oil and filter
  • Change the oil filter (if needed)
  • Put additives in your engine 
  • Check the bilge for excess water  

The maintenance work you will need to do depends on whether you have an outboard or inboard engine. We recommend checking with your owner's manual for specifics to your engine.  

4. Check Your Boat's Cooling System

If you followed our 5 Steps to Winterizing a Boat blog, you flushed the cooling system. If you did not do that, now it is time to drain what remains and fill it up again with antifreeze. 

You will also want to make sure all hoses are intact, as the winter months can cause leaks or cracks, and you want your hoses to be in working order all season long.  

5. Clean! Clean! Wax!

Extend your ‘Spring Cleaning’ to your boat. As part of preparing your boat for the upcoming season, this is an ideal time to scrub everything from top to bottom and side to side on your boat. Whether you store your boat, inside or outside, you’ll need to wash off the grime that your boat has collected.

Don’t forget the carpeting, canvas, and vinyl areas. Boaters love how well our pressure washer attacks grime and dirt. 

After cleaning, you will want to wax your boat’s hull. Waxing helps seal the hull’s pores and makes cleaning it easier during the season.  

Portable pressure washer ready to clean a boatPortable pressure washer ready to clean a boat
Plug in boat shore power connectorsPlug in boat shore power connectors

6. Are Your Batteries in Working Order?

When you are dewinterizing your boat, this is a great time to check your boat battery. Don’t stop at the boat battery! You will want to make sure that other battery-powered items onboard are working. We recommend checking batteries in:

  • Smoke detectors
  • Flashlights
  • Radios 

7. Check Your Boat Electronics

And while you’re making sure your batteries are in working order, you should also check your electronics. You don’t want to be underway and discover that something is not working. We recommend checking the following: 

  • Navigational devices
  • Depth finders 
  • Lighting systems 
  • Speakers
  • Appliances 

8. Check Your Licenses, Registrations & Safety Gear

As you are getting your boat ready for a trouble-free season, you will want to check the following items: 

  • Boat registration(s) current 
  • Any permits (fishing, etc.) 
  • Boat insurance 
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life rings

If you need to replace or add life rings to your boat or dock this season, check out our collection of safety products

Orange life ring and rope for boatOrange life ring and rope for boat
Towing bayliner boat on trailerTowing bayliner boat on trailer

9. Inspect Your Boat Trailer

If you trailer your boat, you will want to inspect your boat trailer and make sure it is in working order. We recommend checking: 

  • Correct PSI for tires
  • General wear and tear of tires
  • Trailer lights are working (no dimming or flickering)
  • Brakes are working 
  • Cleaning dirt or debris in brakes 

10. Restock Spare Parts, Tools and More

Now is an excellent time to take inventory of what you will need for the upcoming season. You will want to replace any spare parts for your boat and tools in your tool kit. And speaking of kits, you’ll want to replenish what is running low in your first-aid kit.