Boating enthusiasts know that taking good care of their vessels during the off-season is crucial to ensure they are in top condition when the warmer weather returns. Southern Powers service Technical Manager Dan Nelson mentions that “Winterisation is a vital process that can prevent costly damage to your boat or yacht during the winter months.” Here are some essential tips from Dan to help you winterise your vessel properly:

Why is Winterisation Important?

Winterisation involves preparing your boat or yacht for the off-season to protect it from damage caused by cold winter temperatures. Failing to winterise your vessel can result in costly repairs in the spring. Proper winterisation is essential to keep your boat or yacht in good condition.

Engine Maintenance

Dan couldn’t stress this enough, “Proper engine maintenance is crucial for keeping your vessel in top condition during the off-season. Here are some tips for winterising your engine:

  • Flush the engine with fresh water, and for inboard motors or stern drives, do a final flush with anti-freeze.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to the tank to ensure the fuel doesn’t degrade over the off-season. Run the motor for five minutes to mix the stabilizer, then shut off the fuel valve to run the remaining fuel out of the engine.
  • Apply fogging oil to the carburetor while it is warm to the touch. Remove spark plugs and spray fogging oil through the spark plug holes inside spark plug cylinders. Replace the fuel filter and wipe any excess grease and grime off the engine.

Hull and Propeller Inspection

Inspect the propeller for any visible damage, and clean the hull of the boat. For fiberglass hulls, a wax coat will help protect against winter grime. Hand washing the hull is also an opportunity to inspect for any imperfections, dings or cracks that need immediate attention before the temperature drops

Bilge Maintenance

Completely drain your bilge and clean and dry the interior of the boat to remove all grit and debris. For boats with vinyl seats, treat the vinyl with a protectant.

Battery and Electronics Storage

Remove the battery and other electronics, such as sonar, and store them somewhere dry and protected from the cold. This will prevent damage to the electronics and prolong their lifespan.

Boat Cover

Cover your boat with a tarp and keep it sealed. It is essential that the inside is as dry as possible before covering it. Leave one or two small vents to prevent condensation and moisture buildup.

Winterisation Procedures for Different Types of Engines

Winterisation procedures will vary depending on what kind of engine or engines you have. For example, winterising a four-stroke outboard involves carefully flushing with fresh water and salt remover. Both the main lubricating oil and the lower-unit oil should be changed, so that dirty oil doesn’t corrode the engine over the winter, and any water that might be in the lower-unit oil doesn’t expand and cause damage.

Where to Store Your Boat

Depending on the size and type of your vessel, winter boat storage could be in your own driveway or garage, in a storage area run by your dealer or repairer, or perhaps in a full-service boatyard or marina. If you have a wooden boat or one that you plan on using occasionally during the winter, in-water boat storage might make sense. In many areas, this can be cheaper than being hauled out, but make sure your insurance company allows it.

As a final tip, it’s always a good idea to create a checklist of winterisation tasks specific to your vessel. This can help ensure that you don’t miss any important steps in the process and can also serve as a useful reference for future years. By taking the time to properly winterise your boat or yacht, you can enjoy a stress-free off-season and have peace of mind knowing that your vessel is well-protected and ready for the next boating season.

Jacques Brϋmmer, Southern Power CEO, stated: “Today’s boats have revolutionized the boating experience, offering enhanced performance, fuel efficiency, and modern conveniences. They utilize cutting-edge technologies and space-age materials, making them lighter, faster, and stronger. While most maintenance tasks, including winterising, can be handled by boaters, if you feel uncertain or overwhelmed, consult a local reputable service dealer. Southern Power has contact with a variety of marine services dealers across SA, for more info and contact details view this page. Their qualified marine technicians will ensure your boat receives proper care. Our mission at Souther Power is to provide exceptional experiences, offering advancements in performance, comfort, and durability. We support you whether you self-service your own or seek expert guidance.”

Contact Southern Power for assistance in winterisation: or call 021 511 0653 | 021 510 3049.