What Happens to Your Fishing Boat if You Don’t Winterize


Winter is on its way, and it’s supposed to be a La Niña year. With that in mind, you’ll need to start thinking about winterizing your fishing boat until the spring. If you aren’t sure if it’s worth it to winterize your boat, we’re here to tell you that there are plenty of dangers that come along with neglecting this process. Here are some of the things that can happen! 

Rodent and Insect Problems

When fishing, you’ll have plenty of items that can leave a bad odor. There are tons of containers and storage spots where you put these items, and the smell of fishing remains can stick around during the winter. Rodents and insects will call your boat home if you don’t deal with this issue properly. Rodents can chew up things on your boat such as your fishing equipment and wiring. Rodents and insects can also build nests in those smaller areas, causing some damage and a scare when you find them. 

Engine Problems

The engine of your fishing boat is the last thing you want to break. During the winter, freshwater or saltwater that flows through the engine can freeze and damage extremely important parts such as the engine block. If you were to leave fuel in the engine too, you may experience dirt and algae build-up, leading to engine start-up troubles and filters and injectors clogging. If your fishing boat operates on the ocean or where salt water is present, not winterizing the engine properly can lead to salt corrosion in the engine, causing a shorter life span and decreased efficiency. 


Battery Problems

Batteries help power a fishing boat’s engine and they are usually lead-acid or lithium. For lead-acid batteries, the cold weather has a chance to make your battery completely discharge, giving you no chance to get out on the water and fish. Even worse, if water gets in the battery, it can freeze, causing some damage to its lead plates. Lithium batteries are the same if they are exposed to the harsh winter weather. Don’t try to charge your lithium battery if it’s below freezing or damage may occur. The lifespan of lithium batteries also greatly depreciates if left in the cold for too long. 


Mold, Rot, and Dirt

An uncovered fishing boat during the winter can lead to disaster if not winterized properly. Molding and rotting can occur to items if the moisture is trapped inside the nooks and crannies of the boat. Seats, steering wheels, and anything covered with some sort of fabric can be seriously damaged or left with bad stains and smells from mold and rot. Dirt can be a problem for boats if not winterized too. Uncovered fishing boats will be exposed to high winds, snowfall, and nature itself during the harshest season of the year. Dirt is sure to accumulate inside, which can lead to staining along the whole fishing boat.

Equipment Damage

Harsh weather conditions will take a toll on your fishing equipment if you don’t winterize. Snowfall and rainfall will build up on your boat if not covered and can get your equipment wet. This can damage or completely break equipment such as fish finders. You also don’t want your fishing rods and other equipment to be buried underneath snow or swimming in a pool of water. This can lead to some problems within your equipment if it does occur. 


If you need help winterizing your fishing boat for the upcoming season, Gull Boats and RV is the place for you! We don’t just offer winterization of boats, we can also do maintenance checks and repairs too! For more information check out call our service department at (800) 525-4855 or check out our store location at 2601 W. Broadway in Missoula, Montana! 

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