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Tips on Preparing for Winter Season
12/2/2013
Credit:
SeaTow press release
Southold, N.Y. - - Late fall and winter bring high season for boaters with vessels in southern waters. These lucky mariners are able to get out on the water all year round, but there are steps they should take to protect their vessels as air temperatures drop and water conditions change. We asked experienced, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed Captains in southern regions for the following six tips to help local boaters and "snowbirds" prepare for the start of winter boating season.

Do annual maintenance. Make sure all boat and engine maintenance is up to date. The manufacturer's recommendation is to service the engine at "100 hours or annually", meaning whichever comes first. So, even if the hours are low, make sure the engine and boat are serviced every year.
Inspect the water pump. If the pump has dried out or the impeller has disintegrated or is broken, it can severely damage an engine when run. It's a good idea to start every boating season with a new water pump because that's a lot cheaper than having to repair or replace an engine.
Check the fuel filter. Ethanol-enhanced fuel can precipitate water after sitting for about three months or more. Remove the filter and pour some fuel into a cup to inspect it. If you see water, remove the water from your tank and change the filter.
Top off the batteries. Use distilled water, not tap water, to clean battery terminals and make sure they are clean and tight. Also, warm up the engine before leaving the boat ramp or dock to be sure the battery has a good charge.
Maintain your trailer. Re-grease the hubs or buddy bearings and check the tire pressure before heading out to the boat ramp. The number one cause of trailer blowouts is an underinflated tire.
Inspect your lifesaving equipment. This includes replacing fire extinguishers and flares that have reached or passed their expiration dates. Replace damaged life jackets and be sure you have the required number for the number of people on your boat and the correct size for each passenger.



For more useful tips and boating safety resources, please visit www.seatow.com and www.boatingsafety.org.

About Sea Tow
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary year, Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation's leading on-water assistance 30th anniversary log_Final 2provider. Established in 1983 by Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves members in more than 100 locations throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit seatow.com.

In addition to providing peace of mind on the water 24/7 to Sea Tow members and other boaters, Sea Tow also offers innovative, free boating safety and information services to the public, including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit www.seatow.com and www.boatingsafety.com.

About the Sea Tow Foundation
In 2007, Sea Tow Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer created the Sea Tow Foundation - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization - to promote safe boating practices. The Foundation's goal is to reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating. For more information, visit boatingsafety.com.

For more information, please contact:
Louisa Beckett
Turnkey Communications & PR, Inc.
(772) 232-6457 954-599-9355
louisa@turnkeywords.com

Cindy McCaffery
Sea Tow Services International, Inc.
(631) 876-5061
cindymccaffery@seatow.com