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How to Winterize and Decommission Your Sailfish Boat

Prepare your Sailfish boat for the winter season with these expert tips from Denny Warren, Sailfish Sales and Transportation Manager. From fuel stabilizers to freshwater systems, follow this checklist to ensure your boat is safe and ready for hibernation.

As the winter season approaches, many Sailfish boat owners are faced with the crucial task of winterizing their vessels. To ensure your boat remains in top condition and ready for the next season, Sailfish's Sales and Transportation Manager, Denny Warren, offers expert advice on the winterization process. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through the steps to protect your prized possession during its winter's nap.

Fuel System Maintenance:

One of the first tasks you should tackle is maintaining the fuel system. Denny recommends using a fuel stabilizer to remove water, prevent corrosion, and keep the system clean. This simple step protects your engine from gumming up, varnish, rust, and corrosion. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully, and consider hiring a marine mechanic for professional assistance.

Freshwater System and Tanks:

Prepare your freshwater system by adding RV winterizing water antifreeze to your freshwater tank. Run the freshwater washdown pump to ensure the antifreeze reaches all faucets and washdowns. This process prevents freezing and damage to the system.

Raw Water Washdown System:

For proper winterization, open all livewell drain valves and the seacock used to fill baitwells. Locate the raw water washdown pump and allow raw water to backflow into the bilge area. This step is essential in safeguarding your boat's systems.

In-Floor Fish Boxes:

To winterize your in-floor fish boxes, mix SuperTech RV and Marine Antifreeze with water as instructed on the bottle. Pour this mixture into the fish boxes and activate the pump-out switch to eliminate the solution overboard. This protects hoses and the pump-out pump.

Optional Freshwater Flushing Head:

For boats equipped with a freshwater flushing head, empty the holding tank at a pump-out station. Flush the head several times until the freshwater tank has cycled through the head and into the holding tank, indicated by the presence of antifreeze mixture in the toilet. This prevents freezing and damage.

Drain Plug and Outboard Engines:

Remove the drain plug from the hull, drain all water overboard, and tilt the outboard engines as low as possible to ensure water drains completely. This step is crucial to avoid potential damage from freezing.

Battery Maintenance:

Turn all battery switches to the 'off' position, and ideally, store the batteries in a climate-controlled area with a charger. If this isn't possible, disconnect the battery leads, clean the terminals, and apply petroleum jelly to protect against corrosion. Check water levels and charge the batteries periodically throughout the winter.

Final Preparations:

Ensure your boat is thoroughly cleaned, dried, waxed, and polished, including all hardware. Remove loose items such as PFDs, vests, towels, and fishing gear to prevent damage and animal intrusion. Consider placing mothballs in compartments to deter infestation.

By following these winterization steps, you'll safeguard your Sailfish boat and ensure it remains in prime condition during the winter months. Remember, if you're not confident with do-it-yourself tasks, it's advisable to seek professional assistance from a marine mechanic. So, give your boat the care it deserves and let it enjoy a long winter's nap. 

If you have any winterizing and decommissioning tips of your own, feel free to share them with us at

How to Winterize and Decommission Your Sailfish Boat

Posted:20/10/2023 06:48PM

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