It's unfortunately that time of the year again, here's 3 tips to help get your boat winterized for the off-season:

1. Change the oil and oil filter

Residual acids and moisture left in the crankcase over the winter can pit bearings and other vital engine parts, so it is important to change the oil just before laying up the boat.

For best results, run the engine for a few minutes to lower the oil’s viscosity and allow it to pick up impurities. shut off the engine, change the oil, and replace the filter. Restart the engine and run for about a minute to circulate the fresh oil to internal parts.While it’s running, check to make sure the oil filter isn’t leaking.

2. Change the fuel filter and stabilize the fuel

Replace the fuel filter and/or change the fuel filter canisters. Like the oil filter, the fuel filter should be checked for leaks while the engine is still running. if your boat runs on gasoline and your gasoline has ethanol in it (e10), the ethanol will absorb moisture over the winter. If it absorbs enough water, the ethanol can separate from the gasoline, creating a caustic mixture at the bottom of your tank that can damage the engine.

This process, called phase separation, can only be completely prevented by emptying the tank. if that isn’t practical, add stabilizer to keep the gas from oxidizing over the winter, then fill the tank to 95-percent full to allow for expansion. a tank that’s almost full has less “lung capacity” to breathe in moist air, so the ethanol is less likely to be able to absorb enough moisture to separate.

3. Drain the engine or use antifreeze

This is the part that seems most often to confuse owners. Mistakes in this step lead to many marine insurance claims. It is best to seek the advice of a marine specialist to determine the best methods.