During a freeze, fresh water that has not been flushed out of a boat can cause major damage. Water left in pipes, plumbing lines, holding lines, sewage tanks or the engine has the potential to freeze and expand causing, potentially, thousands of dollars worth of damage to a boat.
A cracked engine from lack of winterization can be very costly. Even more, if you didn't take the time to winterize your boat, those damages may not be covered under your boat insurance policy. That's why it's so important to take some time to winterize your boat. An hour of prevention could save you thousands of dollars and one big headache.
The best time to winterize your boat is when you've decided your boating season is over. For locations that have timely seasons it may be easy to figure out what time of year that is. In the Great Lakes region, for example, many boaters target Labor Day weekend as the right time to take their boat out of the water before the cold weather hits. For states like Texas, California or Florida that don't have a typical winter season, deciding when to winterize your boat can be a little harder. In fact, it's in these states that damage due to lack of winterization occurs the most.
How can you winterize if there is no winter? Winterization is really nothing more that following proper storage procedures. Whether a location has a typical winter or not, you should know how to properly store your boat because even a state like Texas can be hit with cold weather.
According to Glenn Sladek, general claims adjuster for Farmers Insurance, boaters that live in a region that doesn't have a typical winter are the ones that need to be informed of proper boat winterization techniques. "The people that typically get burned are the people that don't have consistent winters. The weatherman says there's going to be a freeze, and unfortunately some people don't take any action to protect their boat. By the time the freeze occurs, the damage is done," says Sladek.
With 21 years of marine claim experience under his belt he has seen a plethora of damages associated with not winterizing boats. Sladek continues, "Winterization should only take an hour for boats under 26 feet and towed on a trailer. If you don't know how, any marine facility or dealer should be able to help you, but it's really not that hard to do."
In addition to following the proper steps to winterize your boat, make sure you have a good boat insurance policy in case the unexpected happens. Learn about our Marine Choice® packages.Tweet
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