The weather outside is getting frightful and it’s time to set sail to a storage unit. But not so quick. Winterizing your boat is the first – and inarguably, the most important step to properly storing it for the winter season. Here are some tips to prepare and store your boat this winter, so you have many more summers to enjoy in the future.
Clean your Boat Prior to Storing
Just like you would do with anything you need to ready for storage, you want to give your boat a thorough clean before retiring it for the season. This will ensure all dirt; debris and water are washed away prior to storing, which can otherwise deteriorate the surfaces over time.
Winterize the Motor
Summer comes. You have your boat in the water, and just when as you go to start the motor, caput! Oh, boat motors. They can be a serious pain after before stored for long winter months but if you prepare, winterize and store the motor properly, you don’t have to worry about it being shot come summer.
So, learn how to winterize your specific motor. The requirements for winter storage of motors depend on the type, and whether it’s an inboard or outboard engine.
Empty Out the Fuel
You may have read somewhere that you should fill the fuel tank prior to storing your boat for winter to avoid condensation. However, this is not recommended nor is it permitted within storage units. It’s absolutely crucial to drain all fuel from your boat prior to storing it. This will ensure the safety of your belongings, boat, unit and everyone else that’s using the storage facility as well.
Additionally, emptying out the fuel tank is the first step to protecting your boat, as any moisture or lubrication can be damaging when sitting over time.
Drain and Pump
Speaking of which, it’s highly recommended to also drain and pump all the lines before storing your boat for the winter season. This will help remove any moisture remaining.
Choose The Right Storage Unit
There’s nothing worse than getting ready to take your boat out at the beginning of summer, only to realize raccoons and other animals have turned it into their humble abode during the winter season. It happens more than any boat-owner likes to admit – and these animals don’t just hang out in your boat. They absolutely destroy it – wires, cushions, siding – everything.
So, although your backyard, garage or an outdoor lot might sound like a good idea, it’s a risk you don’t want to take. Avoid finding your boat absolutely destroyed by storing it in a secured storage unit.
Check on Your Boat Over Time
Lastly, it’s recommended that you check on your boat over the course of the winter season. With proper preparation and storage, your boat will remain in top condition but it’s still important to check up on it to make sure everything is fine. This way, if you notice a need for maintenance or repairs, you can fix the concern before it becomes a problem. Plus, doing random check-ups will simply give you peace of mind that your prized possession is safe and secure.
Whatever you do, place priority on selecting a proper storage facility to store your boat during the winter. Where you store it and the conditions of the environment will play a direct role in how your boat operates come summer time. So, always choose a reputable, quality storage facility.