Preparing your boat for winter can mean the difference between having a nice summer day on the lake or repairing your boat. You need to store your boat the right way so it will be in top shape when spring comes. Here are five boat storage tips:
1. Make repairs
Make any necessary repairs before putting your boat in storage. This will give you more time to enjoy your boat once winter's over. Repairing issues before storage will also prevent them from becoming worse. Certain problems, like hull cracks, can get worse from sitting in storage for several months.
After making repairs, you need to do preventative maintenance. Just because your boat will be sitting in storage doesn't mean it doesn't need an oil change. Here is a checklist:
- Change the oil
- Change the filters
- Change fluids, including steering and coolant
- Unhook the battery and place it in a cool, dry container
3. Clean your boat
Before storing, remember to clean your boat thoroughly. The last thing you want to do when getting your boat ready for a nice day is to have your boat smell like mildew. Or worse, to find a bug infestation. Here's a quick guide:
- Clean out the fridge and cabinets. Place all food in plastic storage bags.
- Wipe down all surfaces and allow to dry.
- Sweep and mop. Vacuum carpeted areas.
- Remove all trash.
- Remove clothing and bedding.
- Place a box of baking soda in the fridge and inside all rooms.
- Sweep the deck.
- Clean the hull.
4. Protect your boat
Protect your boat from the elements this winter. If you can store your boat in the garage, this is the best place. If your garage is climate controlled, this is even better. If not, choose a storage facility. Make sure that you wrap your boat with an insulating sheet and place a tarp over the top. Test the tarp to make sure water doesn't collect by spraying with a hose. Adjust the tarp as needed to avoid pooling water.
5. Seal the interior
Whether you're storing your boat on water or on land, humidity can be a big problem. You need to make sure the interior is properly sealed to prevent moisture from building up and ruining electronics or other parts of your boat. Here are some tips:
- Spray vinyl protectant on every vinyl surface such as floors or walls. This prevents mildew.
- Run a dehumidifier.
- Spray electronics with a moisture-repelling lubricant.
- Drain your water heater and water lines.
- Turn off the water supply to sinks and showers.
These five tips will keep your boat in great shape while it's in storage. For more information, consider contacting companies like Rock Solid Storage LLC.