- Make a checklist of things to do from owner manuals, prior owners’ lists and your own experience. Select the date for haulout while still warm enough to manage maintenance chores.
- Decide on storage indoors, at a boat-yard, home or in-water and let the marina know when you want to get back in the water. Make sure the boat is adequately supported by stands and oriented for the least wind resistance.
- Pump out bilge and remove or protect anything that can freeze. Flush and replace engine fluids and filters. Carry out maintenance as recommended by engine owner’s manual.
- Close seacocks and place duct tape over all hull openings and vents.
- Remove and store electronics, batteries and cushions in a clean, dry place.
- Install moisture-absorbent products in the cabin and lockers to prevent mildew. Cover the vessel with a tarp or shrink-wrap supported by spars or framework to provide for air circulation.
Many boat service facilities and dealerships provide winterization assistance. If you do not feel comfortable winterizing your own vessel, you can hire a professional to handle the process. However, this time of year is very busy, so schedule your winterization as soon as possible.