Should I Winterize My New Boat? Yes, and This is Why

Well, it’s that time of year again in most parts of the country. Time to winterize your boats, so they are ready to go next spring when you go to fire her up. Today, we are going to cover some of the important reasons why you should not let your baby sit through the winter the way you last parked it, and why you should winterize your boat.

Photo Credit: boatus.com

Reasons to Winterize Your Boat

There are many reasons you should winterize your boat, below you will find what we think are the most important reasons.

Keeping it running well

I’m sure you know what happens when you let gas sit in anything with a motor for a long period of time. You think your weed-eater is hard to start? You don’t want the investment you put into your boat to be just as hard to start.

  1. Gas will turn sour and lose it’s “punch”. Old gas does not burn as good as fresh gas. In fact, the longer gas sits, the worse it is for your vehicle. You want to get your gas tank emptied and all your hoses drained. Not doing so, can lead to many issues including lowering the life of your motor. On top of that, gas can freeze which can expand and crack your hoses.
  2. Your carb! Gas sitting in your carburetor can run havoc on how your boat runs. Making sure it is clean when you put her down for the year will insure a quick start in the spring.
  3. There is no better time to replace old oil with new. It is important to drain your lower unit oil in the winter and replace with fresh in the spring. Didn’t use your boat much this year? It doesn’t matter, it is worth the small investment to just do it.
  4. By greasing all your electric connections and movable parts, it will protect them from the harshness of winter. You can find this grease at any Marine Supplies Store. You don’t want flaky connections while out on the water!

Keeping it looking good

It would be nice to have indoor winter storage for your boat, but most people do not have the space for this. This means that most boats are kept outdoors. And just like the summer sun, winter can prematurely age your boat in many ways.

  1. Between the sun, snow, rain and cold, your seats and carpet will pay a heavy price if not covered correctly. Keep your boat looking good and invest in a boat cover. Do not use a tarp, they are not made to breathe and will hold in wetness. Boat covers are made to let moisture out and allow everything to breathe. This will protect you against mold and sitting water.
  2. Besides covering your boat, using tire covers will allow you to get many more years out of your tires. You will notice many trailers have dry-rotted tires (cracks in them). This is caused from sitting more then being drove, by the sun and water. Making sure to use some tire shine, then covering them will make them last much longer.
  3. While speaking about your tires, another thing you may want to do is to have them either parked on a hard surface that drains, or jack them up off the ground.  Parking in grass or soft gravel will degrade your tires way faster than if you have them parked in a way that doesn’t allow standing water.
  4. Cleaning your boat now while winterizing will make sure everything looks good come spring.

The best time to fix and replace parts

Depending on how your store your boat, depends on how much you can do while it is down for the winter. If parked inside, you have all winter to tinker with it. But if you have it outside and covered, this would be a good time to do any maintenance that you have been putting off. Want to add some pole holders? This is the perfect time!

My go-to place is Marinewaze. Much cheaper than local and I save on taxes. You can check them out or give them a call at 1-800-201-1221 if you like.

The Bottom Line

No matter what your telling yourself, know that it is important to winterize your boat. Don’t be lazy and let it pass by, you will be kicking yourself in the butt next year when you’re broke down in the middle of the lake. If you have never had to ask another boater for a tow back to dock, consider yourself lucky. It is not only a buzz kill, but embarrassing!

Take care of your equipment now so you are the one being asked for help later.

Forward Moving Self Inflating Sleeping Pad Review

So, we have been on the search for a sleeping pad for our camper. The camper mattresses on the bunks are very thin with no padding at all. My wife and I ended up getting some memory foam for my older son but didn’t want to spend that money on my younger son yet. I decided on getting one of those self inflatable pads to use.

We picked the Forward Moving self inflating sleeping pad over the others for one reason, it is shaped to also fit in a sleeping bag. We figured that he will get more use out of it being able to take it on Cub Scout camping trips as well.

So today, we will take a quick look at our purchase. But a quick note, sorry that I did not use any photo’s of it in use. I do not post photo’s on my children online (just the one of my daughter turned around.

The Company and Purchase

This self inflatable sleeping pad was purchased from Amazon (linked above) for under $35. The pad came in 2 days which is super fast (thanks Prime!). We had it in time for Labor Day weekend 🙂

The company that makes this pad is Forward Moving which I believe is a small start-up company. I could not find much about them online but did find their store. Being such a small company was the one thing that made me a little cautious about going with this one. But between the price which is cheaper than the other self inflating sleeping pads and the good reviews, we decided to take a chance. We also like to support small business!

The Sleeping Pad

The sleeping pad comes in a nice bag that it easy to store. Once out of the bag, you unfold and open the cap. This allows air to be sucked in and expands the foam. Once inflated, I give it a couple blows to the pad to make it a little extra firm. When inflated, just close the cap and it will hold the air in when you lay on it. We then placed it into my son’s sleeping bag and it’s ready to go.

This pad is a good fit for a regular (adult) size sleeping bag. It will be too large for a child’s sleeping bag.

To pack back up, you loosen the cap, fold back up. Don’t forget to close the cap once folded up so it doesn’t re-inflate!

Unlike tents (lol), I was able to have this sleeping pad folded up and fit back into the bag it came with in about 4 minutes. It will take that time to fold slowly to get all the air out. But the important thing here is it actually fits back in the bag it came with which is a plus.

Out of bag and rolled up

So, is it Comfortable?

So a sleeping pad isn’t worth much if it doesn’t work as advertised, right? Before answering this questions, I want to put a couple things into perspective to show you why I came up with the answer I did. You may be expecting something other than I, so want to make sure we are on the same page.

  1. I purchased this for my 9 year old son
  2. He is under 80 pounds

When using a sleeping pad while camping, do not expect a blowup mattress. A sleeping bag is to give a little cushion between you and the ground so things are not pocking you. No one like finding a rock sticking in your back once the tent is up!

So with that being said, the Moving Forward self inflating sleeping pad was great for my son, giving him some cushion between him and the bed. He was happy with it the next morning for sure and it will be a good for him until we break down and buy memory foam for his bunk.

Notice it is shaped like a sleeping bag

In the above photo, I placed a small to medium rock under the pad just to see how it would work while tent camping. The photo is of my 4 year old, but I laid on it as well (you don’t want to see my fat butt) and I didn’t feel the rock much unless I put all the weight on it. It defiantly made it bearable laying on the ground.

The one thing that you may want to keep in mind is it’s shape. The pad is shaped to fit into a sleeping bag, so it is skinnier at the bottom. Though you do not have to place it in, the pad works better if put inside.

The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Easy to use and fold back up
  • Size (fits in sleeping bag)
  • Easy to take with you, add to backpack
  • Thickness

Cons

  • Not a large brand
  • Can’t find in stores

If you are looking for a sleeping bag and plan on using it with a sleeping bag, this is a good purchase. It works as advertised and seems to be good quality. If you will not regularly be using it with a sleeping bag, you may want to get a sleeping pad that isn’t shaped like a sleeping bag to give you a little more room.