Winterize Your Boat’s Electronics

Things to do to prepare your boat for winter.

Sadly for many of us, the time has come. Before you put your boat up for the year, though, there are a few things you’ll want to do to winterize and prepare your onboard marine electronics for the upcoming inactivity.

1. Check cables/wiring.

Check any exposed cables or wiring for corrosion or worn spots. This is critical to avoid any potential damage to your boat. Be sure to cover any electronic contact points.

2. Clean electronics.

It’s also wise to clean electronics before being away from your boat for an extended period. Simply use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen and any buttons. If there’s any saltwater built up on the screen, you can use bottled water to clean it off.

3. Remove electronics.

If possible, remove your electronics. That’s not an option for everyone but if it is, it’s ideal to bring your marine electronics inside. Garmin Chart plotters are tested to withstand extremely cold temperatures, but being in a controlled climate may be preferable.

If you choose this route, it’s a good idea to document the wiring setup so you feel confident about reinstalling in the spring.

4. Cover everything that remains on board.

If your electronics can’t be removed, cover them up. This applies to any other instruments on board, as well as the cockpit. If snow melts and refreezes, it expands again and could cause damage. Securely cover and tie down anything that can’t be removed.

By sticking to just a few best practices, you’re more likely to be able to hit the water quickly as soon as the temperatures begin to rise again in a few months.

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