Winterizing a Houseboat



During the summer, exploring beautiful lakes and coastlines on a houseboat is a great way to get away from the every day routine of life. It is a pleasant past time and activity for those who live in warm or cool climates. However, during the cold winter months it is necessary to prepare your houseboat for the cold frigid temperatures. This is also a great time to do any maintenance that have been put off during the summer months.

Since any type of water will freeze during the winter months, it is important to drain all holding tanks and water tanks or add solutions to the water to keep it from freezing. If you are planning on living aboard during the winter then draining your water tanks is not possible. There are several things you can add to your tanks to make sure it does not freeze during the winter months. Some of your options include vodka, isopropyl alcohol, and non-toxic propylene glycol antifreeze. Always consult an expert on winterizing before adding these solutions to your water.

It is best to take your houseboat out of the cold water during the winter and have it stored in a climate controlled storage unit. Any water accidentally left in the toilet or holding tank, will not become a big problem for you in the spring. Leaving water in your tanks when it is left in the frigid temperatures can break pipes or pumps, so always check your manufacturer’s instructions on winterizing your boat.


While you are preparing your boat for the winter, it is also a great time to do some cleaning. Make sure to remove all perishables or any possessions that may become ruined in cold temperatures. Clean all linens and blankets from the houseboat, so whenever the warmer temperatures begin your houseboat is all ready for your first sail. Vacuum and scrub all surfaces as well as check windows for any cracked or leaking seals. Checking for any leaks during this time of the year can also help you save time from maintenance during the summer months.

Owning a houseboat in an area with cold frigid winter months, adds a little more maintenance and costs to the picture. Keeping your boat in good working condition is important to all houseboat owners. However, it is well worth the small hassle because of the beautiful views and landscapes you can explore during the summer months.