We'll be honest: boat maintenance isn't always exciting. However, it is ALWAYS important. And winterizing your boat is essential to keeping your boat in tip-top shape. Most boaters will need to winterize their boats before the first big frost. However, how does one go about that? And how much does it cost to winterize a boat?
As you can imagine, the longer you wait to winterize your boat, the more expensive it will be. And, of course, hiring a professional costs more than doing it yourself.
If you need help determining whether to winterize your boat yourself or hire a professional, keep reading. Today's blog post reveals the pros and cons of each and a breakdown of the potential fees.
What Does Boat Winterization Cost?
When winterizing your boat, you can do it yourself or pay a professional. However, note that the latter costs nearly twice as much. Additionally, the size of your boat impacts the final price. (Smaller boats can cost as little as $150, while larger vessels can cost up to $600.)
If you're opting to winterize your boat yourself, you'll need winterization supplies. Generally, that costs anywhere from $50 to $100 and includes:
- Fuel stabilizer
- Fogging oil
- Motor oil
- Oil filter
- Corrosion protection
- Drain plugs
- Oil suction pump
- Lower-unit lube injection pump
- Lower-unit lube and drain plug gaskets
- Possibly replacement filters
Fortunately, most of these components are reusable. If you want to consolidate the boat winterization costs, many boat shops have boat winterization kits available for purchase.
Another factor that impacts the cost of winterizing a boat is storage. If you plan on taking your boat out during the cooler months, you can likely keep it docked. However, if you plan to keep your vessel on dry land, you must find a storage space. Generally, indoor, outdoor, and in-water storage options can vary from $50 to $400 a month.
Should I Winterize My Boat Myself?
Wondering if you should DIY your boat winterization process? It depends on your budget, boat, and level of experience/comfort. Generally, hiring professionals to winterize your boat is more expensive (due to labor costs, quality checks, insurance, tools, etc.). However, boaters gain peace of mind knowing their vessel is in professional hands.
On the other hand, winterizing your boat yourself saves money and better familiarizes you with your vessel. And once you understand how to winterize your boat, you can do it year after year.
Therefore, it's up to you whether you want to tackle boat winterization yourself or call in the pros. If you still aren't sure, here are some pros and cons of each:
Pros of Winterizing Your Boat Yourself
Winterizing your boat yourself is less expensive than hiring a professional. Plus, you gain valuable knowledge about your boat and its maintenance.
Cons of Winterizing a Boat Yourself
Winterizing a boat on your own can be challenging and time-consuming. And if you are inexperienced, making a mistake can damage your vessel.
Pros of Hiring a Professional
When you hire a professional to winterize your boat, you can rest assured that the job will be done to your satisfaction. Plus, you won't have to dedicate time to learning or performing the winterization process.
Cons of Hiring a Professional
Naturally, hiring a professional is more expensive than doing it yourself. And, of course, there is a possibility that the professional you hire is inexperienced or unfamiliar with your boat model.
Importance of Winterization
If your boat is located somewhere where temperatures drop below 40°F, winterizing your boat is non-negotiable. Frozen liquid expands (which can be incredibly damaging to your vessel), and your boat's gel coating will become brittle and unstable when left in the cold.
Also, mold and mildew can also grow inside your boat, corroding electrical components and metal fixtures. And certain hulls will crack in cold weather.
Fixing failed parts due to frozen water or cold weather is an easily avoidable expense. Trust us when we say repairing an engine left in the cold is significantly more expensive than winterizing and de-winterizing your vessel.
The Bottom Line
So, how much does it cost to winterize a boat? We hope that today's article gave you an answer. The most accurate way to determine your boat's winterization cost is to get an estimate from your local boatyard or marine mechanic. Like any purchase, shopping around your local area will help you gauge the average expenses.
And if you decide you want to winterize your boat yourself? Check out this Step-by-Step Guide to Winterizing Your Boat below.