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Blue background with snow and the word Winterization

Is Your Boat Ready for Winter?

With summer coming to a close and geese starting to flock up, we have to admit that Winter is coming. If you live in the Great White North, you know that means you have to get your boat ready to withstand the cold, harsh conditions of our winters. Failing to protect your engine and boat against damage can result in expensive losses.

If you live around the Great Lakes or warmer areas, don't think you're safe from having to protect your watercraft. Just a few nights of freezing temperatures can cause damage to your boat if not properly protected. The message is simple: if you live anywhere in Canada, you will need to winterize your boat.

Regardless of what area you live in, MarineMaxx Canada can help you prepare your boat for winter so you can enjoy a quick, safe start up in the Spring.

two jugs of antifreeze image of shrinkwrap and tape     

How to Winterize Your Boat Engine

Although there are differnces in how to winterize inboard, outboard, and diesel engines, there are some things you can do that are for all types of engines:

Cleaning. Leaving your boat dirty over the winter not only looks bad, but can actually permanently stain or damage your boat. Be sure to give your hull a good cleaning, removing any built up dirt or stains. MarineMaxx Canada can help you find the best cleaner for your particular application. You may also want to use a vinyl/upholstery cleaner on your boat seats. The more cleaning you do now, the easier time you'll have in the Spring!

Inspection. Inspect your prop and hub for any damage. Check for bends, dents and bowed blades. Repair or replace as necessary. 

Fog the engine. Fogging oil is an anticorrosive that will protect the internal surfaces of the carburator and cylinders. It's important to fog your engine if you plan to store the engine for a long period of time. Here in Manitoba, that can be up to 6 months!

Change the oil. This simple step can save you many problems in the Spring. Old oil can form acids, which in turn can corrode your engine and shorten its lifespan. 

Drain Manifolds and fill the engine block with antifreeze. One of the worst things winter can do to an engine is crack the block. Draining your manifolds and filling with antifreeze is your best protection. Adding antifreeze will help water from freezing and cracking your block. But remember: not all antifreeze is created equal. You need to choose a strength that matches your environment. Also, when choosing an antifreeze, look for one that uses propylene glycol. It's environmentally friendly!

Fill the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. Well, fill it most of the way. As the temperature drops, your fuel may expand a little. Not leaving room for this could cause your fuel tank to crack or burst. Adding a fuel stabilizer helps to prevent the formation of contaminants in your fuel. MarineMaxx Canada recommends Gas Rx, a fantastic product. It removes water, prevents corrosion, inproves starting and performance and can be used with 2 and 4 cycle engines. Not only do we recommend it for winterizing, but to be used year round with your boat fuel.

Close fuel valves and exhaust ports. This helps to avoid potentially destructive condensation from entering the interior. You should also consider replacing the fuel filter and water separator.

Change the gear oil. Drain unit gear case lubicant, flush and replace it (if you have an inboard/outdrive engine). This helps prevent water damage to the internal parts.

Remove the battery. Remove the boat battery/batteries and store in a safe, dry place for the winter. Be sure it is fully charged before putting away. While in storage, remember to retain the charge and water levels, as they may change during storage.

Spray moisture displacing lubricant on contact points. Do this to contact points on all plugs and bulb sockets. You might consider wrapping plugs with electrical tape to help keep them dry.

Cover your boat. When you have completed all the above steps, cover your boat. Even if you are storing it in a garage, it's important to cover your boat. This helps prevent insects, rodents, birds and other nuisances from getting into places they shouldn't be. You can use a boat cover or shrink wrap. Contact us to help find the best solution for you!

Now that your boat is ready for winter, are you? MarineMaxx Canada not only helps you get your boat ready for the cold months ahead, but can help you stay warm and dry this Winter. Check out our selection of Helly Hansen parkas and bombers! Not only are they stylish and warm, some are also a personal flotation devices, with standard CAN/CGSB 65.11-M88! See individual products for details.

Please note: The above are guidelines that work for most boats. The best source for properly storing your boat for the winter is your Owner's Manual, or to contact your boat manufacturer. 

MarineMaxx Canda can not winterize your boat for you, but we can provide you with the products and advice to help you get your boat winter ready!

Still have questions? Give us a shout! Call (204)224-0912 or send us an email at

Hours: Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm