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Gary Shaw: Time to get our boats prepared for winter

Walk on the Wild Side
Walk on the Wild Side - SaltWire Network

LABRADOR CITY, N.L.

Like it or not, we all know what time of year it is.

We are right in the middle of our fall season, faced with the harsh reality of the arrival of winter.

Most of the outdoor people of Labrador West are boat owners and should have a boat and motor storage plan in place.

The fishing season is now over for the year and, with the exception of the few late season migratory bird hunters, most are finished with our boats for the season.

The first order of business is the motor. You should always change the oil in the foot each year and the best time to do this is as you prepare to store it in the fall.

Changing the oil in the fall reduces the chance of a bit of water in the foot freezing and cracking this part, and leading to an expensive repair in the spring.

If you have gas left in your tank, you should add fuel stabilizers to the tank. This will be beneficial when you have your first start in the spring.

Whether your motor remains on the boat or is kept in the shed, it is best to store it standing upright because of the fluids inside them.

If your boat has a battery, unhook it and store it inside in a warm place.

Make sure it is sitting on something other than concrete so as not to compromise the battery life.

If your boat is smaller and stored outside, you should place it upside down and elevated on some pellets or old tires. It should be stored in a location where it is visible and protected.

If you have removable seats in your boat, store them in the shed in a location off the floor to avoid someone or something from poking a hole in them.

Considering the large amounts of snow we get, boats should be covered if they are stored outside. Supports are necessary across the width of the boat to carry the weight of the snow as it piles up. Use shrink wrap or tarps, securely bound and tied down.

It doesn’t take long to put a boat in storage, and all of these steps should ensure you have a trouble-free start to the spring.

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