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Tips to Winterize Your Inflatable Boat & Moto
  Winterizing Your 4-Stroke Motor 
  1. Wash off all salt water and clean any growth or debris.

  2.  Flush out any salt water from your motor.

  3.  Grease the fittings (use any good marine grease). Refer to the Inspections and Maintenance section of your motor manual for the Grease Points.

  4.   If your motor is a remote control (not a tiller), grease the steering cable.

  5.  Check the zincs or anodes. The location of these varies for each motor, so check your motor manual.

  6. Check your prop for damage; you may want to take it off and grease the shaft.

  7. Check the spark plugs and replace as needed.

  8.  Change the lower unit oil.

  9. Change the power head oil.

  10. Stabilize the fuel (for 9.8h and under carbureted motors, run the fuel dry).

  11.  Disconnect the battery – be sure it is charged before storing for the winter. Leave it in place or take it inside for the winter. If your battery is not charged prior to disconnecting, (and it is left in the cold) it will freeze.

  12.  Store the motor upright if it is not on your boat.

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 Winterizing Your Inflatable Boat  

 

  1. Wash off all salt water and dirt.

  2.  Wipe down the inside of the bow locker (if present), as mold can start growing there.

  3.  Wash the bottom of your boat to remove all growth and debris.

  4.  Put a protectant (such as 303) on your tubes.

  5.  If you have bottom paint, you may want to add a new coat to the bottom in the fall.

  6.  If you have a roll-up, soft keel boat and want to deflate it for storage, remove all salt and dirt off before deflating. Leave it partially inflated and store in an area free from mice or other rodents (they have been known to nest in crevices and chew holes in the material).

 Winterizing Your Trailer

  1. Wash off all salt water and dirt.

  2. Inspect the lights to ensure they work.

  3. Inspect the bearings and grease as needed. The bearings will be covered by rubber “boots”

 

 

 

 

Choosing the Right Cleaning Products  

The first and probably most important step to properly cleaning an inflatable boat is to choose the right cleaning products. Using the wrong cleaners can end up damaging your boat/tubes instead.

While inflatable boats may be made of durable PVC or Hypalon, they are still susceptible to damage when exposed to harsh chemicals. They are not like fiberglass or aluminum boats and should therefore not be exposed to the same types of boat cleaners.

Products you should never use to clean inflatable boats include:

- toluene

- acetone

- bleach

- ammonia

- highly alkaline cleaners (pH greater than 11.5)

- abrasive scrub pads

- steel wool

 

These products can damage and/or discolor the fabric and attack the adhesives of your inflatable boat.

Household soaps or detergents can leave a sticky residue on the boat surface that attracts and holds dirt. Soap scum can also serve as food for mold and mildew, and you’ll have to figure out how to clean mold off your inflatable.

To properly clean your inflatables it’s best to use inflatable boat cleaners. These are made specifically for cleaning inflatable boats and can effectively remove dirt, grime, and stains without damaging the tube material. Some of these cleaners can also protect boat surfaces from the elements, keeping them in the best condition. 


  Cleaning Your Inflatable Boat  

Once you’ve got the right cleaning products and tools, cleaning your boat becomes quite simple. You'll need a couple of clean cloths and some water. You might also need a soft brush for scrubbing. Most cleaners only require you to apply the cleaner on the surface of the inflatable boat for a few minutes, and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Start cleaning the boat floor and work in sections, moving outward while applying the boat cleaner. This will make it easy for you to check for any damaged areas, and see where you’ll need to make some repairs. Flip the boat and apply the cleaner on the underside as well, as this area is most exposed to the water.

 

Once the boat is clean, you should apply a UV protector such as 303 AeroSpace Protectant to protect the fabric from the sun's UV rays.  Typically 303 needs to get (re)applied every few weeks during the season - No worries, it only take about 5-10 minutes to treat a 10' boat.   Click here to order  
Click here to learn more about 303 AeroSpace Protectant


Cleaning your inflatable boat is something you should do regularly especially if you use your boat often. And even for brand new boats, there may be some lubricants left from the manufacturing process that you need to clean off before use.​

  Storage Suggestions  

To extend the life of your boat, keep it covered from the beating sun when not in use.  We sell boat covers (as well as console and seat covers for the larger boats.)   Tap here to see the deluxe covers made for our boats. 

 

 Even in a New England winter, boats should be covered if stored outside. ​If you are storing your boat in a beautiful New England barn, or any spot where you may be prone to a few mice visitors, we suggest you wash off all saltwater (mice love the salt) and leave your boat partially inflated (for some reason, mice love rolled up boats - more crevices maybe?)  

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Winterizing Your Motor
Winterizing Your Boat
Correct Cleaning Products
How to Clean
Storage Suggestions
Winterizing Your Trailer
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