Storing a boat is not a simple task. The process requires time and paying close attention to the details. Once you have done it, that’s it – you are leaving your boat on its own for a long time.
Here we will share important tips and things to watch out for during this process. Whether you want to winterize a boat (prepare it for winter season), or don’t want to sail for a longer period, this advice is meant to be practical year-round.
Where should you keep it? There are a couple of options to choose from, yet we always suggest indoor, dry storage for the best results. If you opt to store your boat on the water or outdoors, the preventive measures will be different.
1. Preparation is the key
This is the very first thing on the list of tips we want you to know. The reason for it is simply because this step is occasionally overlooked.
Generally speaking, we are going to divide it into two steps.
The first one is to make a proper plan so you don’t forget any detail in the process. Write everything down as you read and imagine the whole process. Also, some ideas may come to mind – so, don’t overlook them.
And the other is to make sure you have enough time and patience. The process can get overwhelming, so focus on the outcome and the result!
It’s worth it!
2. Take your boat out one last time
The importance of this one is probably obvious to you. This is an overall check of the boat itself. Act like a perfectionist during this ride. Try to find all and every minor issue that seems to occur for the first time, or you noticed it before but didn’t give much importance to it.
Pay close attention to the engine since it is the heart of all vehicles. Also look for corrosion or cracks that cause water spills during the ride, since these can cause damage if they are left aside for a long time.
3. Drain the systems
Draining the systems is a must if you have decided to go with dry storage for your boat. It means you have to remove all the water out of your boat components.
Afterward, the ideal move would be to fill the components with antifreeze, assuming you are leaving your boat during the harsh winter season. The antifreeze will prevent any ice from forming inside the components which would damage them if not taken care of.
4. Take care of the engine
As this is the main part of your boat, it should be a priority. Make sure to wash it in detail and remove all the sand, dirt, or other elements that inevitably accumulate there.
Don’t forget to do a thorough inspection of the whole engine and perform general maintenance, including changing the oil and filters. Lastly, fill up your tank to full and let the engine run for 20-30 minutes. Leaving the gas tank empty for longer periods may result in corrosion because of the high humidity and exposed surfaces.
5. Remove added parts and take care of electronics
All the things that are not the main parts of the boat should be taken away somewhere else. As long as they are small enough to be taken with ease, there is a better place for them to spend the winter holidays. This includes all the equipment, clothes, gadgets, and electronics in general.
And when it comes to electronics, batteries especially, take extra care. If the temperatures are going below freezing point, you shouldn’t keep them there. Take them home or to a warmer place.
6. Keep the boat close to your reach
An ideal place for storing your boat should be in your property, in a dry place, protected from the sun. However, this option is only viable if you have a big facility capable of providing you this comfort (e.g. a big garage).
If your property’s indoor surface area does not let you do this, other options can be renting a place for your boat in a boat storage facility. Renting an indoor spot might be the most expensive option but it is by far the safest way to go.
Least favored dry-storage options would be your property’s open space areas or renting an outdoor spot for storing your boat.
7. Washing and waxing
You are almost ready to store your boat away. What you need to do next is wash off the whole surface of the boat with water.
When it comes to clearing the fiberglass, you should apply a non-abrasive cleaner spray before washing off the surface. Afterward, give it two to three hours for everything to dry off properly and prepare for massive waxing!
Waxing is not mandatory, but if you decide to go for it, detailed washing beforehand is a must. Apply your favorite wax product and buff one area at a time (preferably with a power buffer).
8. Cover the whole boat
When doing this, you want to think about the harshest winter conditions to prevent all the possible consequences. Our warm recommendation is to have a professional shrink wrap your vessel from head to toe. It will cost you a little bit of extra money, however, it is way more economical to do that than to pay for possible damage repairs when the season starts again.
9. Close the exhaust vents
This one’s simplicity equals in its importance. Seal all the vents with duct tape multiple times. This prevents insects, pests, and all the critters from reaching the boats’ important components, and potentially damaging them.
10. Check the boat periodically
If the vessel is stored in your garage or backyard, there is no reason not to check it every week. However, if you stored your boat further away from your home, try to check on it every two weeks or so.
This is important because it is crucial for the maintenance of the boats’ overall condition. Your task when checking on the boat will be figuring out if there are any possible issues. Always check the engine, but don’t forget about potential mildew spots, oil leaks, or even holes in the duct tape that you sealed on the exhaust vents.
11. Enjoy the process
It may get exhausting, but don’t forget why you’re doing this. You love nature, are passionate about the water, and of course the vessels. For some, it’s a hobby and for others just a way to spend a weekend. Yet it is the same driving force that brings a smile on your face every time you turn the engine on. Therefore, this is much more than a to-do list. It is an introductory guide to all the fun and joy that’s waiting for you next season.
If you’re looking for a Storage Facility to securely store your ATV, RV, or Boat, Pro RV & Boat Storage has got you covered! Here at Pro RV & Boat Storage, we offer a wide selection of parking units to accommodate your needs. To learn more about our storage facility, please check out our website at https://prorvandboatstorage.com/.