With a jon boat, it might seem like winterizing is a pretty simple task. There's no engine to take care of, so just cover it up and wait until next year, right? Unfortunately, that's the mindset that far too many people have. Like any other boat on the water though, a jon boat still needs specialized attention at winter - especially if you'll be storing it outside.
Here's a look at the best way to winterize a jon boat that's going to spend the winter outside in the elements:
Remove all of your gear
This can be a time-consuming task, but it's something that's worth the trouble. Primarily, this helps make sure that your equipment stays dry. It's easy to forget about something in your boat over the winter only to find it ruined by moisture in the spring. In addition, taking out all of your gear prevents any animals from making it their winter home. Besides water, animals are the one thing that can destroy your equipment in a hurry.
Make sure your boat is covered
Just flipping your boat upside down or leaning it against a building to keep water out of the inside isn't enough. It's entirely possible for water to seep into the seams of your boat, freeze, and cause cracks. Make sure you have a cover or tarp, and that the tarp is weighted down.
Even if water isn't a concern, still keep your boat covered, as exposure to the sun will damage and discolor the material.
Store your boat off the ground
Make sure your boat isn't stored directly on the ground. Place bricks or pieces of wood on the ground, and store your boat on top of those. This prevents your boat from freezing to the ground, and makes sure that it stays ventilated inside, keeping away moisture.
Keep the seams and rivets dry
If your jon boat is going to leak, it will do so through the rivets and seams. Spending winter outside will only accelerate any problems unless you take care of them in advance. When you're done for the season, spray a little penetrating oil on the rivets and seams, then rub some petroleum jelly over it to seal in the oil. The jelly covering and the oil inside make a great barrier to keep out moisture.
Just because a jon boat is a relatively basic boat, that doesn't mean you're free of maintenance. Take the time to properly prepare it for wintertime, and your jon boat will last for years to come. To learn more, contact a company like LSK Marine with any questions or concerns you have.