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Fall boating prep means you don’t have to pull your boat out of the water simply because the leaves are changing color and the temperature is starting to drop. It’s possible to keep boating on into the fall as long as you stay prepared for the changing season and don’t put off your winter storage any longer than necessary.

Check Your Gear

One of most common problems with boating past the end of the summer is getting stranded because of something that breaks while you’re on the water. Fall boating prep requires that you check your engine, rigging, sails and ropes to make sure everything is still in good shape after a busy summer of use. You don’t want to get caught when something wears out simply because you didn’t take the time to check.

Batteries, Batteries, Batteries

Much like the fall boating prep tip above, it’s also a good idea to verify that all the electronics are still in good shape after a full summer season. In particular, pay attention to anything that runs on a battery. Not only can a summer of use drain the energy from even the most robust battery, but falling temperatures can reduce the charge that can be stored in many types of batteries. This applies to radios, handheld flashlights and other electronic gear onboard.

Colder Temperatures

Fall boating prep for cooler temperatures means you have to be prepared for the mercury to drop significantly when you’re out on the water as compared to the shore. Remember to pack or store extra warm clothing, blankets, hats and gloves on the boat. It’s also crucial to understand that the water itself could be extremely cold, which means your survival time in an accident may be dramatically reduced. Stay dry, stay safe and if you’re boating alone, stay close to shore.

Watch for Brittle Components

Cold weather can do funny things to your boat’s hull, masts, railings and other structural components. Depending on what materials they’re made out of, you might encounter a brittleness that could lead to breakage or damage once the weather turns chilly. Keep this in mind when maneuvering the boat and avoid bumping docks or sandbars that you normally wouldn’t think twice about in the summer.

Fall doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to store your boat. Take these tips into consideration and you can boat right into the next season.

Check out all the marine & boat products available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on fall boating prep, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

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