Boating Offseason: Things to Do
When leaves change colors and cooler temperatures arrive, it signals the end of boating season for many, especially for those boaters who live where it snows. Yup, it's time to put the boat away, but that doesn't mean you can't take care of a few things when you're not out on the water.
So now what? As the boating season comes to an end, here are a few things you could and should do to prepare for next season.
Winterize Your Boat
Unless you’re one of the lucky ones that lives in a place where boating is possible year-round, cold weather is bound to send your boat into storage. And even if you live in a place where it doesn’t snow, boats are still subject to cold temperatures and long periods of inactivity. This means preparing your boat and its engine for storage, or what’s commonly known as winterization. Changing the oil and the gearcase lube, cleaning the boat and engine up, and getting the battery on a charger are just part of this crucial offseason boat maintenance.
Take Care of the Smaller Stuff
The offseason is the perfect time to take care of all those little things that cropped up during boating season that you put off fixing. Things like repairing or replacing torn upholstery, a worn ladder or even restoring teak plates get put off because they take time you could be spending on the water, so you limp along until the season ends. With the boat clean, dry, and out of the water, now is a great time to address those nagging small issues.
Upgrade Your Boat
The boater experience tends to evolve over time, meaning that activities often change or expand to include more recreational uses. Perhaps you’ll be adding fishing or watersports to your repertoire. The offseason is a good time to re-orient your gear toward what you’re doing to make the most of your time on the water. So if you’re planning on getting a fish finder or some new skis or tow ropes to expand your boating activities, the offseason is the perfect time to do it.
Consider More Training
There’s an endless amount of knowledge about boating that’s just waiting to be attained, and the offseason is a great time to get more boating education.
Whether that means navigation courses or brushing up on boating safety and survival, take advantage of the offseason to get more training you can put into practice when the season comes back around.