Unless you live in some parts of Florida, you will have to winterize your boat at some point. In some places you will have to keep it winterized longer than others, but for the most part, the steps will be similar. Because of the variety of boats, different waters, and engines, this will not be a step-by-step guide, but rather three secrets will help.
Secret #1 Write it down
There is a reason ships have logs. We all struggle at times with our long-term memory. For instance, when was the last time you changed the oil in your car? If you write down the process of winterizing your boat next spring, it will be much easier to reverse the process.
Secret #2 Take your Battery out Last
Chances are you will forget something that your battery is needed for, such as putting the outboard in a trailerable position. Once you do take your battery out, store it in a warm dry place close to an outlet so you can easily trickle charge it every month.
Secret #3 Replace Everything Except the Spark
Switch out every conceivable and replaceable part; inline oil filters, regular oil filters, oil, fuel filters, water fuel separator, and the list goes on and on. Switch them all except for your spark plugs. There would be no benefit in switching these now and may cause problems. Wait until the first outing to switch them, but go ahead and buy them when you buy the rest of the replacements.
You now have three secrets to make your winterizing life just a little bit easier. Thanks and happy boating!