ON THE WATERFRONT: Winter is coming so it’s time to prepare for safe storage

OLYMPIC MARINE IN Port Angeles offers mechanical services to the boating industry.

Atop their building on First Street in Port Angeles, there is a marquis suggesting to boat owners that it is time to winterize their craft.

The recent weather certainly portends that wind, rain and snow to one degree or another is in our collective future for the next 5½ or 6 months.

This is the time of year when most recreational boaters (except diehard winter crabbers and hearty wind sailors) are considering hauling their boats out of the water and stowing them away for the season.

Some will put their vessels in a storage facility but most have their boat on a trailer sitting in their driveway or side-yard.

Boats stored over the winter become easy targets for thieves.

Many boat owners don’t find out they have been a victim of theft until springtime when it’s time to make preparations to put the boat back into the water.

BoatUS Marine Insurance has the following timely tips for storing your boat during winter months:

• The three most common items stolen from boats that have been stowed for the winter are electronics, outboard motors and outdrives.

• To avoid a theft of your boat’s electronics, it is well worth your time and effort to remove the electronics and store them in your home.

In the event they are permanently installed, make certain to have a record of ownership information, including the model and serial numbers.

It is also a good idea to have photographs of your onboard electronics.

• Small outboard motors should always be removed and stored in a locked garage or other secure structure.

Larger outboard motors should have a lock installed.

• It is recommended that outdrives also be removed and stowed in a secure location after having recorded the unit’s serial number.

The next best defense against a theft would be to install an outdrive lock.

• When storing a boat and trailer at your residence, don’t leave the trailer tongue facing the street.

Additionally, block the trailer, remove the tires and store them in your garage.

At the very least, wheel locks should be installed, as well as putting a lock on the hitch receiver.

• If you are looking to sell your current boat in favor of a new craft for next season, do not leave a “for sale” sign posted on it all winter.

It has the potential of attracting the wrong kind of attention and gives nefarious characters an excuse to climb aboard and nose around with impunity.

• Adding personalized markings to equipment helps identify and recover stolen items.

Making your mark readily apparent is an added deterrent because it makes those items less “marketable” and therefore less likely to be stolen.

• Don’t forget that four-legged bandits, such as raccoons and other critters, will enjoy the comfort and shelter of a stored boat.

Ensure that winter covers are tight and remain securely attached.

If at all possible, don’t store your boat in a place that makes it easy for animals to get aboard, such as near trees or building overhangs.

Cover large exhaust ports, and never leave a ladder leaning against the boat.

On the docks

Tuesday, longshoremen loaded two Ledcor Barges with chips from Interfor that were exported to the Westcoast Chip Plant of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper Corporation in Howe Sound, B.C.

Monday, Tesoro Petroleum provided bunkers to Densa Lion, a 623-foot bulk cargo ship that is flagged in Malta.

Wednesday, Tesoro refueled Rainbow, a Hong Kong-flagged bulk cargo ship that is 623 feet long.

Thursday, Tesoro bunkered California, an 823-foot crude oil tanker that is flagged in the United States.

Friday, Tesoro bunkered Seaways Skopelos, a 600-foot petroleum products carrier that is flagged in the Marshall Islands.

Saturday, Tesoro was scheduled to refuel Port Angeles, a 555-foot bulk cargo ship that is flagged in Hong Kong.

_________

David G. Sellars is a Port Angeles resident and former Navy boatswain’s mate who enjoys boats and strolling the area’s waterfronts and boat yards.

Items and questions involving boating, marina and industrial activities and the North Olympic Peninsula waterfronts are always welcome. News announcements about boating groups, including yacht clubs and squadrons, are welcome as well.

Email dgsellars@hotmail.com or phone him at 360-808-3202.

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