Myth: "If it doesn't get below freezing for a long period of time, I don't need to winterize my boat."
Fact: During the winter, boats often sit unused for an extended length of time. If a boat is not properly winterized, moisture will be trapped in the interior components of the engine, which will cause corrosion. Corrosion (rust) in an engine is equally as destructive as a block that freezes and cracks. Proper winterization includes professional anti-corrosion techniques.
Myth: "My fuel will be fine if it sits all winter. I'll just put some stabilizer in it come springtime and it'll take away any problem."
Fact: When fuel sits for an extended period of time, the components separate. Once separated, there is no going back. Adding a stabilizer in the spring will do nothing for your fuel as it must be added in the fall. You will then have to have your fuel system professionally drained and cleaned and start all over. This repair is costly and easily preventable.
Myth: "I'll just leave a space heater on my boat and that'll keep it warm enough so I don't have to winterize it."
Fact: Not only is it an extreme fire risk, if there is a sudden, unnoticed power failure, the heater will fail and your engine will be at risk to freeze.
Myth: "If there's a warm day in January, I'll just go take the boat out for a bit. It shouldn't be a big deal since my boat was winterized by a professional."
Fact: Many marine service centers use a winterization technique in which the plugs are removed from the engine block. Often, they are placed in a bag for safe keeping until spring when the boat is "de-winterized," and customers are unaware. Running the engine without the plugs can result in catastrophic failure.
Myth: "I'll just run some regular car antifreeze through my engine and that should keep it safe."
Fact: While running antifreeze through a block and all of its components is recommended, it must be a marine-grade antifreeze. Using automotive antifreeze can actually damage components of your engine and cooling system. It is also unsafe for the environment should it leak out into the water.