“I’m winterizing the boat this weekend.” Are there words an avid boater ever says with less enthusiasm? Their very nature indicates the end of the boating season here in New England, a return to wearing socks and sweaters, and the fear that said winterization will not go off without a hitch. This might explain why so many boat insurance companies put out fairly detailed guides dedicated to vessel decommissioning; as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Personally, I hate to see bad fortune fall upon anyone. But professionally, my business reaps great rewards from bungled decommissionings. During this boating season alone I’ve repaired or replaced numerous marine air conditioning units which were perfectly serviceable at the end of last summer. Exhibit number one are the burst coils on this unit whose owner assured me he had winterized it to the manufacturer specifications.
Compressed air did not remove all the water from the coil, and the rupture that resulted led to a catastrophic failure of the entire system. Water expands when it freezes, and the copper is simply not strong enough to withstand the pressure. Few of us are.
That said, I’d much prefer to earn my living helping boaters improve their overall boating experience – specifying and installing systems for climate control, marine sanitation, moisture abatement or entertainment and navigational electronics, rather than fixing problems that didn’t have to happen. Therefore, unless you’ve spent some time drawing a paycheck from a marina, I strongly encourage you to leave the winterization process to the professionals.
When you place your winterization in the hands of marinas or boatyards like Mystic Shipyard, Noank Village, Oak Leaf Marina, Palmer Point or Petzold’s, you are assured the job is handled properly and you needn’t worry when the mercury drops below freezing for weeks at a time. And, if you place any stock in the Farmer’s Almanac, this coming winter is supposed to be quite cold.
If you need a recommendation on a good marina partner to perform your winterization, please don’t hesitate to email me.