Boating vs. Sweater Weather
It is that time of year where pumpkin-flavored everything abounds, and even Christmas music can be heard. The temperatures are getting colder, and the daylight is getting shorter. Sweater weather. This conjures happy thoughts of leaves turning, snuggly sweaters, and hot beverages. What does this mean for boating? Sadly for most of the U.S., the boating season is coming to an end for a few months. Do not despair – there is still great boating to do. Especially if you are a Carefree Boat Club member!
Fall Festivals, Fishing, and more…
There is still plenty to do by boat and time to do it. Take advantage of fewer people on the waterways. Find a cove and enjoy a picnic on the water. Take in the sights of the trees changing color and reflecting off the water. The whales are migrating on the East and West Coast. Fall fishing is at its best. Rockfish is on in the Lower Chesapeake Bay from October through December. Fall festivals are happening again. Lake Boone Water Carnival is always a great time in Tennessee. Check out your local area to take advantage of going by boat. Your Carefree Boat Club Dockmaster and staff are a great source to ask what is happening on the water in your area. Members can take advantage of those lovely days here and thereby grabbing a boat and going out.
Most areas have holiday boat parades which are quite extravagant and festive for boaters and spectators alike.
Most private recreational boaters winterize their boat right after Labor Day. The joy of Carefree is that our clubs keep their boats in the water as long as possible and safe. Some club boats have Isinglass enclosures that keep you warm. Other club boats have a windshield and door that can cut the wind and cold. Another Carefree perk is that our members can use clubs that stay open all year round since they are in a warmer climate. It is the perfect time to get away from the cold on a Florida vacation and take a boat out from one of our Florida, Georgia, or other Southern clubs. At some point, our Northern Carefree Boat Clubs pull their boats out of the water to winterize them. There are fundamental reasons for winterizing your boat.
Winterizing a Boat
For private recreational boat owners that live where the temperatures dip near or below freezing, winterizing your boat is essential to keep your boat safe.
- Freezing temperatures affect water. Water does expand when it freezes. This creates a danger for boat systems that use water: head system, water holding tanks, livewells, faucets, showers, flushing systems. If water is in any of these systems, you risk expansion and breakage of pipes or worse. Catastrophic events occur with the engine system if the water used for cooling the engine freezes. Draining the water out of the systems and adding antifreeze to prevent any water left in the systems is smart.
- Even if your area temperature does not fall below zero – not using your boat for a prolonged period of time can cause damage. Fogging your engine is not temperature-related; it is usage-related. Corrosion of the engine’s internal parts can happen when the engine is not used or turned over every six weeks or more. Inactivity can be due to putting your boat away for the winter or just caused by cold snaps or just life getting in the way of boating.
- Stabilizing the fuel does just that – it stabilizes it. This step eliminates the possibility of phase separation in your fuel tank. When you do not use your boat for a few months, the ethanol will settle at the bottom of your fuel tank and mix with the water. And we all know that gas and water do not mix.
- Disconnecting the batteries is a good idea if you have pulled your boat out of the water for the winter. This eliminates any accessories such as the automatic bilge from draining the battery. Some choose to put a trickler on their battery. This accessory delivers a consistent low charge to the battery so your engine when you are ready.
- 100 Hour Engine Service on your boat. Hopefully, you were out enjoying your boat for at least 100 hours this year. But most of you are thinking, “I did not put 100 hrs on my boat?” The service is called “100 hr Service,” but it is genuinely an annual service that keeps your engine in top running condition. This service consists of a few things. Oil change. New oil and engine filters. Gear lube. Replacing the water pump. Having the 100hr Service done on your boat ensures it will be in top running condition whether you take it out on the next beautiful day or get back on the water next spring.
There is quite a cost to these routine maintenance procedures.
Carefree Boat Club staff takes care of the entire fleet, so members don’t have to worry or incur winterization costs. Just another benefit of being a Carefree Boat Club Member.