NY Sea Grant: Boaters should start winter prep now


Shrink wrap is a low-density polyethylene plastic used to protect boats during the winter storage and when shipping. Shrink wrap is not biodegradable, and can become a disposal problem at landfills and/or trash to energy plants.


OSWEGO — State experts say while there’s still plenty of time for boaters to enjoy the remainder of the maritime season, responsible owners should start preparing now for the seasons ahead by winterizing and storing their vessels.

Dave White of the New York Sea Grant told The Palladium-Times recently his office has seen an increase in new boaters this summer, partially due to what he believes is an increase in local recreation by people less likely to travel. They’re instead seeking adventure in their own backyards, and investments in enjoying the bountiful central New York water opportunities.

“It’s fabulous to see,” White said. “I’m a real fan of seeing the new folks out on the water with the family having a great time. That’s now going to continue with their families for years to come.”

White said boaters should continue to watch the autumn weather reports and plan accordingly, and remember to always have enough personal floating devices for everyone on board as they enjoy fall boating.

“It’s a great time to boat, but everyone should be making plans right now for what happens after Columbus Day — get that boat safely put away for the winter,” said White.

It’s also important to find a proper place to store boats for the winter.

White encouraged people to check local regulations for storing their boat on their own property.

“If they can’t, they need to jump right on that and find either a storage area that will do that or a marina that does shrink wrapping and storage,” White said.

White also hopes boaters properly winterize their vessels before it gets cold.

If taking the do-it-youself route, he suggested checking the owner’s manual for the boat and engine for proper care.

“Many times they’ll have a checklist in there … because you want to make sure you follow the instructions of the manufacturer,” White said. “Second, there are some great videos out there online.”

White also suggested online resources like BoatUS.com and DiscoverBoating.com for tips on how to winterize a boat.

Another option is to have a local marine service center winterize your vessel. For White, he sleeps easier knowing someone else is going through some of the more minute details.

“I always remind people that if you have someone winterize it for you, especially a marine service center, they’re going to guarantee it. So come next spring, you’re going to take the cover off, turn the key and it’ll start right up for you, and that’s guaranteed,” White said. “There’s a lot that comes with that you don’t have to worry about. It’s all taken care of.”

White is glad to see so many people taking advantage of the natural water resources in the area.

“I think a lot of local folks know why people come from around the country to come here and enjoy our water resources,” White said. “It’s been an awakening and great to see. It’s good to have them in the family of boating.”

New York Sea Grant is a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York.

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