In Media: Boaters Should Start Winter Prep Now
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - News

Shrink wrap is a low-density polyethylene plastic used to protect boats during the winter storage and when shipping. Shrink wrap is not biodegradable, and can become a disposal problem at landfills and/or trash to energy plants. Credit: Christine Suter

— By Jeremy Houghtaling, Oswego County News Now
Powered by the local newsrooms of The Palladium Times and the Valley News

Oswego, NY, Sep 15, 2020 - State experts say while there’s still plenty of time for boaters to enjoy the remainder of the maritime season, responsible owners should start preparing now for the seasons ahead by winterizing and storing their vessels.

Dave White of the New York Sea Grant told The Palladium-Times recently his office has seen an increase in new boaters this summer, partially due to what he believes is an increase in local recreation by people less likely to travel. They’re instead seeking adventure in their own backyards, and investments in enjoying the bountiful central New York water opportunities.

“It’s fabulous to see,” White said. “I’m a real fan of seeing the new folks out on the water with the family having a great time. That’s now going to continue with their families for years to come.”

White said boaters should continue to watch the autumn weather reports and plan accordingly, and remember to always have enough personal floating devices for everyone on board as they enjoy fall boating.

“It’s a great time to boat, but everyone should be making plans right now for what happens after Columbus Day — get that boat safely put away for the winter,” said White.

It’s also important to find a proper place to store boats for the winter.

White encouraged people to check local regulations for storing their boat on their own property.

“If they can’t, they need to jump right on that and find either a storage area that will do that or a marina that does shrink wrapping and storage,” White said.

White also hopes boaters properly winterize their vessels before it gets cold.

If taking the do-it-yourself route, he suggested checking the owner’s manual for the boat and engine for proper care.

“Many times they’ll have a checklist in there … because you want to make sure you follow the instructions of the manufacturer,” White said. “Second, there are some great videos out there online.”

White also suggested online resources like and for tips on how to winterize a boat.

Another option is to have a local marine service center winterize your vessel. For White, he sleeps easier knowing someone else is going through some of the more minute details.

“I always remind people that if you have someone winterize it for you, especially a marine service center, they’re going to guarantee it. So come next spring, you’re going to take the cover off, turn the key and it’ll start right up for you, and that’s guaranteed,” White said. “There’s a lot that comes with that you don’t have to worry about. It’s all taken care of.”

White is glad to see so many people taking advantage of the natural water resources in the area.

“I think a lot of local folks know why people come from around the country to come here and enjoy our water resources,” White said. “It’s been an awakening and great to see. It’s good to have them in the family of boating.”

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly. Our program also produces an occasional e-newsletter,"NOAA Sea Grant's Social Media Review," via its blog,

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