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Winterizing Your Adirondack Camp

by Brooks Reynolds on November 4, 2020
Winterizing Your Adirondack Camp

Owning a waterfront property in the Adirondacks is a dream come true for every outdoorsy person. Then again, it’s pretty heavenly even if you aren’t interested in the plethora of outdoor activities that are literally on your doorstep – think boating, paddling, swimming, wake-boarding, hiking, mountain biking and fishing, to name a few. With the mountain backdrop, fresh pine air and plethora of placid lakes, just sitting and soaking in the surroundings from the deck is pure bliss. 

There are many advantages to purchasing a boat-access-only property, including the privacy, a tight knit community, and more time spent on the lake. However, the downside is that as the seasons change and the nights draw in, it’s time to close up the property before the ice sets in. And in doing so, there are some key considerations to address with your Adirondack camp to ensure it’s in tip top condition for your return in the spring. 

In an effort to ensure that no task is forgotten, we’ve compiled a list of things to remember when winterizing your Adirondack camp:

Draining the water lines

As we mentioned, things get very chilly on the lakes in the winter so you’ll need to take measures to protect your property’s pipes. First, you should drain the water to prevent the pipes from freezing, which would risk bursting the lines. If you’ve got a go-to plumber, they will be the ideal candidate to take care of this. If not, we’re happy to recommend one who’ll take care of this for you. 

Putting out the bubblers

Installing a dock bubbler is one of the best things you can do to protect your boat, dock, piers, boat lifts and boathouse from the harsh Adirondack winter. In a nutshell, a bubbler works by moving the warmer water up from the bottom of the lake to the surface to prevent it from freezing around your goods. You’ll want to do this because in the case of wood hulls or wood docks, water enters between the planks and freezes, which spreads them apart. This will weaken the wood and make it more liable to rot come summer. Need to know more about bubblers and how to get one installed? Let us know.

Winterizing the boat

Preparing your boat for winter is another compulsory activity. Top of the list is draining all the water from the engine, freshwater plumbing systems and additional systems such as the raw water washdowns, livewells and bilge pump. You’ll also need to add antifreeze to your plumbing systems, apply corrosion protection to your engine, change your engine’s fuel filters and any fuel/water separators in the system. 

There are many more potential boat winterizing chores on the list depending on your boat, so do take a look at this article if you’re planning on undertaking the job yourself. If you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, we can highly recommend Fogarty’s or Tri Lakes Marine (Jim Forsyth).

Another important thing to note is that you also need to winterize other gas powered machinery by draining oil and adding fuel stabilizers to gas. For instance, boat houses often have lifts to keep your boat out of the water.

Fun Fact: some people new to the lake may be wondering what a boat house is: it’s actually to hoist the boat out of the water so that you don’t have to store it in your garage or driveway for the off-season.

Now it’s time to move to the inside jobs

You’ll need to turn off circuit breakers, turn off propane tanks, defrost fridges and freezers and disconnect all appliances. 

To best protect your soft furnishings, you’ll need to store linens in plastic bins (even better if you do so with place fabric softener sheets.) You can also place mothballs around the interior of the cabin to deter mice.

All of this can add up to a lot of work, if you are looking for a caretaker for your property, we can help with that too! Let us know and we are happy to help you find a caretaker that suits all of your needs.

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