As many boating seasons in the Northern states are coming to a close, we decided to write a quick note to give you of a few electronic winterization tips to follow before you put your boat away. You know the basic winterization checklist includes shrink-wrapping, draining and changing engine oil etc., but it is easy to forget to care for the expensive items onboard
1. Save User Data- Save all of your waypoints, routes, and tracks to an SD memory card. Maybe manufacturers have apps that you can download to have a 'cloud' back-up storage as well. Here is an SD card combo you can find on Amazon.
2. Remove Electronics- If you have the ability to remove any on-board electronics, do so. For some, this isn't an option but if it is, storing your GPS will increase the life of your unit. All units today are tested to withstand many environmental conditions but a controlled environment is optimal. If you cannot remove your electronics, make sure every unit has a protective cover to reduce any temperature damage.
3. Clean Electronics- After removing any electronics, use a microfiber cloth to clean the screen and go over any buttons that are exposed to the elements and saltwater buildup. Wash off Radars, antennas, etc that experience regular weather exposure.
4. Check Cables/Wiring- Disconnect your batteries and make sure they are clean from any corrosion. Spray the battery and cable terminals with corrosion inhibitor for extra protection. Store your batteries in a climate control environment on a trickle charger. Check for any exposed cables or wiring and cover any plug ends with dielectric grease.
5. Clean Transducers- Your transducer experiences a lot of wear and tear in a single season. It's important to clean the face and/or paddlewheel inserts and apply transducer anti-fouling paint if needed.
6. Shrink-Wrapping- This helps protect all on-board items from the elements, but remember to avoid tight wrapping on radars, antennas, lightbars or cameras. The less tension the better.