4 Tips For Preparing Your Boat For Winter Storage

Posted on: 9 October 2014

If you're an avid boater, winter may not be your favorite time of year. That's when you have to put your boat away for the season and resign yourself to using your land legs for the season. While you may miss your time on the open sea, the best thing that you can do is take the steps to properly store your boat for the winter. That way, it will be in good shape at the end of the season and ready for you to take back out on the water as soon as the weather warms up. Check out some of the most important tips for storing your boat for the winter.

Find the Right Storage Space

If you live in a warm climate that never sees snow, you may be able to store your boat in your backyard until you're ready to use it again. But chances are that if you're planning to store your boat for the winter, it's because you're in a climate that isn't so mild during the winter months. In that case, outdoor storage is a bad idea. Snow and ice piling up on your boat can cause serious damage to it, even if you cover or wrap it.

If you need someone to haul the boat out of the water, do all of the winterizing tasks for you, and store the boat for the season, then you can expect to pay about $2000 for winter storage. However, if you want to cut costs, you can haul the boat yourself, make your own winter preparations, and rent a self-storage unit. The largest self-storage units go for around $225 a month. Continue your online research to read more about the costs of getting the storage unit for your boat. As you can see, the DIY route adds up to a considerable savings.

Don't Store a Broken Boat

The off-season is the time to focus on any necessary repairs. Sitting idle for several months can speed deterioration, so any problems that your boat already has will be exacerbated. Seal any cracks that your boat may have, and give it a fresh coat of paint, especially if the current paint job has begun to chip or peel. This is also a good time to take care of any mechanical problems that your engine may have.

Remove All of the Fluids

It's not good for fluids to sit stagnant in your boat, and in the winter, there's the possibility that those fluids might freeze and cause damage. Eliminate the risk by draining all of the fluids from various parts of the boat. That includes the water in coolers, fresh water tanks, hot water heaters, and restroom facilities as well as the fluids in the engine block and manifold.

Clean, Dry, and Cover the Boat

Before you lock up the storage space for the winter, you need to make sure that your boat is completely clean and dry. This will help keep any mold or mildew or rust at bay. The bilges should be cleaned with hot soapy water and thoroughly dried before storage. Remove all of the fabric components, from curtains to cushions, and store them somewhere cool with low humidity. After removing any food and beverages, defrost the refrigerator and freezer and leave them propped open to air out.

You're not quite ready to walk away yet. Your last chore should be to cover the boat with a snugly fitting boat cover that's free of holes or tears. Even in an enclosed storage space, it's best to use a cover, just in case.

Just because you've stored your boat for the winter doesn't mean that you can't have any nautical themed fun. Use your winter break to take in a boat show, take a course in seamanship, or make reservations and plans for a boating trip as soon as the weather is good for boating again. Your boat will be safely stored and ready to go when it's time to get back on the water.