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Checklist in Winterizing your Aluminium Boats

Blog | 13 June 2017

Enjoy the boating season while you can, because it won’t last forever. Leaves fall, the wind turns chilly, and winter is on your doorstep. There’s a lot to do, and maybe you’ve left things a little late, but don’t worry too much, not when you’ve got access to a checklist for winterizing your aluminium boat. Starting off with your aluminium hull, let’s get started before the hard winter winds start blowing.

Scrubbing Aluminium Boats Winter-Clean: Part 1 

Pay attention to any scratches and scrapes that were incurred during the height of the recreational season. Mark and document the worst bumps for professional attention.

Scrubbing Aluminium Boats Winter-Clean: Part 2 

Start with an abrasive-free soapy detergent, something that washes away oil stains and debris. From here, let the hull dry before picking up a dedicated cleaning agent. That fluid must be formulated to act as an aluminium boat cleaning compound.

Checking for Anti-Oxidizing Protection 

In this winterizing guide, you’re not about to settle for a barely clean metal framework. You’re taking this opportunity to protect the hull, not just clean the metalwork. A dedicated boat cleansing compound washes, polishes, and protects the aluminium.

Addressing Inside Storage Needs 

Cover the boat. If it’s under 6-metres long (20-feet), consider storing it upside down. In taking this approach, you turn your aluminium boat into its own little boathouse.

Outdoor Storage Considerations 

Store the craft on a specialised boat trailer, pull the drain plug and tilt the little ship so that any snow or heavy rain doesn’t form pools of standing water inside the boat frame. Aluminium is a naturally corrosion resistant metal, but that “resistance” feature doesn’t necessarily mean the boat is corrosion-proof.

Condition the Outboard Motor 

Depending on the motor fittings, the propulsion system will require special winter care, which means practising a little TLC that targets the innards of the engine. Drain the oil and flush the engine. Remove the battery and attach it to a trickle charging unit so that it is ready for the New Year.

You can go deep when you’re winterizing your aluminium boat. An extended checklist goes beyond the above list. Pressure washing equipment removes barnacles and dead sea life from the bottom of the hull. Signs of corrosion, perhaps due to dissimilar metal contact, are cleaned before the protective coating is applied. Generally speaking, that aluminium hull is tough, not so tough that abrasive cleaning compounds can be used here, but it is tough enough to take some real elbow grease. After that power and manual cleaning work, remove what can be removed, drain what can be drained, and cover up until spring makes an appearance.

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