With ownership of a boat, comes responsibility.
This responsibility involves maintaining your boat and ensuring that your investment is kept safe.
The harsh season of winter can be devastating to your boat. The winter is not forgiving at all. Therefore, it’s important that you take precautions to keep your boat protected.
This is where the act of ‘Winterizing’ comes into play. This is essentially the process of preparing your boat for the winter. There are quite a few things which this process involves, such as flushing your engine, draining the boat of all fuel and fluids, disconnecting electronics, washing the boat and more.
You may now be wondering how much to winterize a boat? This comes down to many different factors. Whether you’re winterizing your boat yourself or paying someone to do it professionally makes a huge difference in the average cost to winterize a boat.
This article will go into detail on the cost to winterize a boat.
The Importance of Winterizing
Winterizing your boat every year can be a bit of a hassle.
Let’s not forget that you’ll also need to de-winterize your boat before you use it again.
The effort required in combination with the costs of winterizing your boat may seem daunting however, the cost of not winterizing your boat can be a lot more devastating.
Insufficient of not winterizing your boat at all can result in frozen liquids expanding and damaging your boat. Mildew and mold may grow, ruining the interior of your boat and corroding metal and wiring. These all equate to expensive repairs.
The cost of a new engine is going to be a whole lot more than the cost to winterize a boat. Therefore, winterizing your boat is worth it. The process may seem long and expensive, however the cost of not winterizing it will be much more of a headache. I know far too many people who though they knew better and decided to skip the winterization process, they’ve all come to regret the decision and now winterize their boats every winter without fail.
The Average Cost to Winterize A Boat
I’ll try not to waste your time, if you’re just here for the figures then I’ll tell you that the average cost of winterizing your boat is around the mark of $300.
I’ve come to this conclusion with my own personal experiences with winterization. I also used figures acquired from friends and family who own boats, as well as the boating community through forums and blogs. I also incorporated the prices at which professionals advertise their services at.
Bare in mind, this is just the average cost. There are so many factors which will give you a more accurate representation of the cost to winterize a boat. For example, a smaller boat will be significantly cheaper than a larger or average sized one. A smaller boat will cost less than $150 to winterize. Whereas, a larger boat will cost more around $500.
Now that’s the cost of winterizing your boat, however you may also need winter storage.
Winter storage prices vary depending on your location and the type of boat which you need to store. Boat storage could cost anywhere from $30 a month to over $500. Therefore, it’s hard to provide an average cost for winter storage as it’s highly dependent on your boat and where you live.
The Cost of DIY Winterizing a Boat
If you consider yourself a handy-man or you’re prepared to get your hands dirty to cut some costs, then it may be a good idea to winterize your boat yourself.
There is a significant cost difference between hiring someone else to winterize your boat and doing it yourself. I’ll go into more detail on the pricing, later in the guide.
It may also come as a surprise to some that it is usually quicker to winterize your boat yourself rather than having someone else do it. DIY winterization can be done within an hour. Taking your boat to a shop or marina could take a couple of hours.
Winterizing your boat, yourself may take over an hour your first time however I can assure you that you’ll get more efficient and will get your timing down to under an hour in the following years.
Boat Winterizing Supplies
It’s never been easier to winterize your boat. There are a wide range of different DIY products available for you to choose from. I’d highly recommend you check out this Camco DIY boat winterizer. It’s comes at an extremely low price that I’m sure everyone can afford.
You’ll need more than this though. Fuel stabilizer is another essential. You could purchase this stuff anywhere. I’d recommend STABIL Fuel Stabilizer.
You’ll also want to protect your boats valves, pistons, etc. This is where fogging oil comes in handy. Don’t worry, this is also very inexpensive. My fogging oil of choice is Star Brite Professional Grade Fogging Oil.
The last essential product which you’ll need is some good antifreeze. Just like the name suggests it prevents freezing. This is required as during the winter, water expands when it freezes which could lead to pipes bursting and damaging your boat. My favorite product is Camco’s Antifreeze Concentrate.
You may also need to replace your filters. This isn’t always essential however you need to assess your situation and decide whether you should go about it. This won’t break the bank, on filters I tend to spend around the $40 mark however it really depends on the condition of your boat.
It may seem like there’s a fair few products which you need though they’re all cheap and will prevent your boat from damage during the winter. Damage to your boat could cost you thousands, so the cost of winterization products is not comparable.
The Final Cost of DIY Boat Winterizing
Once all the products required are added up, the total cost to DIY winterize your boat will be around the $150 mark. This varies slightly depending on your boat and its condition, though I will likely be close to this figure.
As I had mentioned previously, your first time winterizing your boat yourself will take a while though you can expect to get faster and more efficient as you practice. For your first time, it could take a couple of hours. Though, eventually you should be able to completely winterize your boat within an hour.
Most boats will come with a manual which details how to go about winterizing that boat. It may take longer to read the manual, but it reduces the risk of you doing anything wrong.
The Cost of Hiring Someone to Winterize Your Boat
The cost of having someone else winterize your boat is significantly higher than doing it yourself. You can expect to pay about double! I’ve found the average cost to have someone professionally winterize your boat is around $300.
Bare in mind, this is just an average price, the cost of having your boat done professionally varies GREATLY. DIY winterization doesn’t vary nearly as much. You could be faced with some extremely high prices or low prices depending on where you go – so it’s important to shop around.
The most important factor when it comes to the price of your quote is whether you get it done by a boat shop or a boat mechanic. I’ll go further into this.
Boat Shop Quote
As you may expect, boat shops can be quite expensive. They charge a premium fee for their expensive equipment, insurance, and guaranteed quality. Boat shops are not cheap, but they do offer outstanding service (Depending on the shop obviously). Boat shops provide quotes of around $350.
Boat Mechanic Quote
Boat mechanics tend to be a lot cheaper than boat shops. This is because they don’t have to pay any fees to a boat shop. You often don’t get the added benefit of insurance and guaranteed quality.
You can expect to pay about $150 to have an independent boat mechanic winterize your boat for you. That’s not far of the cost of DIY winterization, which may make hiring a boat mechanic more attractive than doing it yourself. However, most mechanics will also charge you a travel fee.
Save Money on Boat Winterizing
If you’ve decided to winterize your boat yourself to cut down your expenses every year and save money there are plenty of ways to minimize the costs of boat winterization. In this part of the guide I’ll provide you with some tips to make winterizing your boat cheaper.
One good tip which a boating expert taught me many years ago was to carry out oil changes whilst the engine of your boat is still warm. This helps flush the oil out so that when new oil is poured in, it will completely coat the inside of the engine. I found this to be highly effective. It helps increase the lifespan of your engine.
Another tip would be to purchase a high quality boat cover. This is simply a sheet which will cover your boat. These aren’t the cheapest, however they’re a great investment. They’ll keep your boat protected, preventing any rodents or insects from harming it. Boat covers are also useful in protecting your boat from the weather.
The third tip would be to make disconnecting and removing your batteries part of your winterization process. This is something that many people forget to do, and results in them having to replace them. It doesn’t take long, and it could save you a heap of money.
There we have it, that is the answer to your question “How much to winterize a boat?”. I’ve stated the average cost to winterize a boat, the average cost to DIY and the average cost of having it done professionally.
I’d always recommend doing stuff like this yourself. It works out being a lot cheaper, and you gain valuable experience and knowledge which may be useful in the future. There are many guides on how to winterize a boat available. It’s not a difficult thing to do, it just takes some time to do.
If the task of winterizing your boat is too much for you to handle, then It may be best to have it done professionally. If this is the path you choose to go down, then the cost to winterize a boat may be cheaper if you get it done by an independent mechanic rather than a boat shop.
If you have any questions or concerns about winterizing your boat, leave a comment down below! I’ll be more than happy to assist you to the best of my ability. Though, it’s always best to get expert advice so I’d recommend getting in touch with your boats manufacturer.