It’s estimated that almost 90 million U.S. adults participate in recreational boating. If you count yourself among that number, and you own a boat, then you know it’s essential to take care of your boat at all times. This is especially true as winter approaches and these tips can help you properly prep your boat for the cold:

Winterize Your Electrical System

In wintertime, it’s common for boat fires to start due to faulty electrical systems. If you leave your boat in the water, you’ll want to keep it in water at a minimum of 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Above all, you want to protect your electrical components, including your marine isolation transformer.

Be aware that getting the interior and exterior temperatures of the boat just right is a delicate balancing act. If your boat gets too warm, it can increase the amount of power it draws, which can cause an electrical fire. Additionally, if the inside of the boat gets too warm, it creates the perfect environment for mildew and also for electrical components to start corroding. On the flip side, if your boat is too cold, it can cause piping to freeze up.

Protect Your Interior

On the subject of protecting the boat’s interior, make sure to remove as many of your valuables as possible. Anything that could freeze, break, be stolen, or chewed up, take it out. This helps prevent anything from getting moldy or mildewed. If you do leave anything in the boat, put some moisture-absorbing crystals in the interior.

Don’t Forget Your Water and Sanitation Systems

During winterization, you want to take care of electrical components like your marine isolation transformer. But you don’t want to forget your sanitation and water systems either. Make sure any lingering liquid is treated. You’ll want to drain your systems and protect them with antifreeze. Failure to do this can result in pipes bursting.

Care For The Engine

The engine is what makes your boat run, so be sure to care for it. For inboard engines, make sure to do an oil change and flush the engine with non-toxic antifreeze. For outdoor engines, flush the engine with water, treat the fuel tank with a fuel stabilizer and make sure to lubricate the exterior.