HELENA, Mont. – Boat shops recommend that people winterize their boats in Montana before hard freezing temperatures arrive in the state.
Montana Boat Center has already winterized hundreds of boats since August and is averaging 10 to 12 boats a day.
Staff say they are already scheduling appointments through the end of October.
“There’s not much room for parking around here,” joked owner Tom Rispens.
Rispens said some people will try to hold out until the last minute to get their boats winterized but warns people to be cautious.
“It’s better to plan ahead and not get caught,” said Rispens. “Everybody wants to hold out for that last beautiful fall day, but sometimes that can cost people a lot of money.”
According to Rispens, a mild frost won’t usually do any damage to a boat but a hard freeze on a non-winterized boat could potentially cost thousands of dollars.
“Most engines aren’t meant to have the water inside them freeze,” explained Rispens, “In your car you have antifreeze but in your boat, most of them do not. So the water freezes, expands and cracks the block. Then the block’s ruined so you basically have to start over.”
Rispens added that if a person can’t get their boat winterized in time a temporary solution is to put a ceramic space heater by the engine which will prevent it from freezing.
If a space heater is used, make sure it isn’t directly touching anything or near anything flammable.
Story by John Riley, MTN News