It’s officially Fall! In many parts of the country, it’s that bittersweet time of year when we have to start thinking about putting away our new Malibu and start the countdown to next year’s season—full of new tricks learned, quality time spent, and memories made. With this change in weather comes a few important maintenance items that need to be done in cold climates to keep your Malibu in peak shape for next year. While we always recommend the winterization be performed by your dealer, here’s a quick rundown.



In areas of the country where it gets below freezing, your boat needs to be winterized. This is the process of getting all the raw water out of the engine and filling it with an antifreeze solution that protects the engine all winter long. It’s also important to empty the ballast tanks and drain as much water as possible from the ballast lines and the shower. And finally, fully charge the batteries and then disconnect from the boat so they are fresh for spring.


Winter Storage

Whether it’s your garage or your local dealer’s storage lot, your boat needs to come out of the water and get stored in a safe place if you have anything resembling a harsh winter. It’s typically best not to store it outside due to snow loads, but it all depends on where you live. Even if you store your boat indoors, we recommend the boat be winterized because it’s difficult to guarantee the ability to maintain the temperature should your power or heat source stop working. Regardless, find a safe and secure place for the boat to hibernate for a while. 


Shrink Wrapping

Always a popular option due to the extra layer of protection it provides, shrink wrapping seals your boat up tighter than any cover. This helps keep the elements and rodents where they belong, outside your boat. Your local dealer is your best solution for this to ensure it is properly wrapped and ventilated.


Fuel Stabilizer

On your last session of the year, it’s a good idea to throw in a fuel stabilizer solution while you fill up. Gasoline with any ethanol content will naturally degrade over time and a fuel stabilizer helps to counteract the process, leaving your fuel fresh and ready for the first spring ride. Even if you use ethanol free fuel, a stabilizer is never a bad idea. Fill the tank up to reduce condensation in winter months.


Oil Change

It’s good to have an oil change on your radar whether you change your oil in the summer or winter. There are different schools of thought on this, but the one thing everyone can agree on is your boat should have new oil and a fresh filter when it gets splashed in the spring. You can DIY this fairly easily, or your dealer can knock it out as well.



This is also a great time to trade in your boat for next year’s model. This way, you won’t have to think about any of these maintenance items and you’ll already know you have the latest and greatest on the water with a brand-new Malibu. To build your new custom Malibu, visit your local dealer or head over to our state of the art Build a Boat.


As you begin to think about winter boat storage, we encourage you to review the owner’s manual for specific details or consult with your local dealer. Failure to properly winterize and store the boat can lead to costly repairs in the spring.

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