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Ask The Experts | Winterizing Quick Tips
By Bobby Cleveland & Gold Eagle products

With summer coming to an end, most people will soon bid farewell to their boats as they store them for the cold season ahead. But, what most arenít looking forward to is the actual process of getting this completed. In fact, a national survey conducted by Gold Eagle® Co. , an industry pioneer of aftermarket fluids and additives and maker of STA-BIL®,

HEET®, START YOUR ENGINES!® and 303® Products, found that 97 percent of consumers know that properly storing their boat in the off season will actually help it run at optimal performance when they take it out of storage next spring. However, almost 75 percent of people encounter issues when taking their boats out of storageówhich means they arenít taking the appropriate steps when storing them in the first place.

To help boat owners prepare for winter storage, Gold Eagle Engine Answerman®,

Bobby Cleveland, has some helpful time and money-saving tips to help ensure that people properly prep their boats for storage, so they are ready to rev up come springtime.

Before you even begin the process, you will want to make sure that you plan ahead and block off a few hours of time. Proper preparation and storage of a boat can take anywhere from 2 to 5 hours depending on the size and condition of your vessel.

Step One: Clean your boat inside AND outside. Itís important to make sure all residue and dirt are removed from your boat, so it doesnít sit all winter long. Using a cleaner like 303® Fabric & Vinyl Cleaner will help remove residue that could cause stains if it sat through the cold winter months. Also, using a protectant like 303® Aerospace Protectant will help keep vinyl and leather from cracking in lower temperatures.

Step Two: Clean beyond the surface, taking care to clean the INSIDES of your boat too. Fuel problems are the #1 issue that boat owners run into and itís important that you complete this step properly, or youíll face the consequences come spring. With this in mind, when winterizing your boat, leave your gas tank full of fuel and add Marine Formula STA-BIL Ethanol Treatment and Fuel Stabilizer. If your fuel is fresh, you do not need to drain it, but if youíve had it more than a month, you should drain it completely and refill with fresh fuel.

Once youíve filled your tank and added a stabilizer (use 1 oz to every 5 gallons of gasoline for storage), you should run your engine for a few minutes to make sure the fuel stabilizer gets into the carburetor and injectors. By filling the tank with fuel and stabilizer, you clean the carburetors and fuel injectors and ensure there is less air in the tank to prevent corrosion. When you have air in the tank, it creates condensation, and because water can cause corrosion, the more you can eliminate water in your tank the better.

It is also a good idea to use a fogger to coat the inside of the engine when it is stored. You can use STA-BIL® Fogging Oil that you spray into your carburetor to coat the inner lining and prevent corrosion.

Step Three: Make sure your battery is properly charged, so you donít end up with a dead battery come spring. If you plan to leave your battery in your boat, you want to make sure it has at least a trickle charge. Check your engine manual to make sure you are doing this correctly.

Step Four: Cover the boat properly. You will want to make sure that the top and interior are properly covered to keep out the weather elements. You should also cover the propeller as well.

Step Five: Store your boat in a cool, dry place. This will help to keep any eroding elements away from the boat and keep it in the best shape until you are ready to take it out next spring.

For more great tips, watch Bobby Clevelandís recent how-to video on boat storage.

[EDITORíS NOTE] iboats has all the supplies you need for boat winterizing.

Written by Bobby Cleveland Ė Bobby Cleveland shares his engine knowledge as Gold Eagleís Engine Answerman. As a former technician and riding lawn-mower designer, he shares his experience and advice with consumers on how they can obtain greater performance out of all things motorófrom power sport vehicles and classic cars to household power equipment such as string trimmers and lawnmowers.

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