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Winterizing The Boat

Its getting cold and living close to the beach, I see people posting articles about winterizing their boats. This got me thinking, I haven’t seen anyone post anything about winterizing rowing shells, so I Googled “winterize rowing shells”. I found what appears to be an older USRowing Article on winterizing your boathouse top to bottom. It has some good recommendations, but there wasn’t much on actually winterizing your boats.

I realize that many of you have already packed away your gear for this winter, but if you haven’t, here are a few of Finish Line Shell Repair’s thoughts.

Here are a few of our quick thoughts and recommendations-

The Hull

◾Clean the boat bow to stern, inside and out.
◾Dish soap, water and some good scrubbing will do the trick.
◾Vespoli recommends using Bon Ami [find at your grocery store] to clean the wet-sanded area.
◾Check out Pocock’s article about keeping boats white: https://www.pocock.com/2015/06/tips-for-keeping-your-boats-white/
◾Inspect the hull for any issues. Now is a good time to address any dings/dents/punctures that you have been hiding with tape!

The Interior

If you store your boats outside:
◾Remove the seats and foot stretchers
◾Inspect them for issues:
◾Wheels – are they in good condition? No pitting or cracks?
◾Shoes and footboards:
◾Are they in decent shape?
◾Are all the screws that hold them to the footplate there?
◾Do you have all the hardware to hold the footboard into the boat?
◾Store the seats and foot stretchers.
◾We recommend storing them in a rubbermaid container [or something similar] that is big enough to hold each boats shoes and seats. This way each boats equipment is in one container and these pieces will be out of the elements during the off season.
◾If you store them in your trailer, make sure to throw a strap around the container and lid to make sure the lid doesn’t blow away!
◾Check the hardware that you don’t remove to make sure it is in good shape.
◾Tracks – Are they clean and smooth?
◾Foot-stretcher channels – Are they chipped or broken?
◾Check any steering mechanisms
◾fins/rudders
◾steering wire in 4+, 4x, and 2x/-

Riggers

◾Make sure you have all the nuts and bolts for the rigger attachments
◾Check oar locks and spacers
◾If you don’t have rigger bags-
◾Wrap your riggers with plastic wrap or bungees.

Finally

◾If you store your boats outside – CHECK YOUR STRAPS!
◾If you are in a climate that freezes, double check your straps.
◾Straps take a beating in the winter because they get wet [rain/snow] and then freeze at night and then warm during the day. This causes straps to expand and contract, and ultimately become fragile as the winter wears on.
◾If you start with an old strap, the risk of breaking will increase!

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