Off the Water: Boat Storage Tips for Summer’s End
As the weather starts to cool down, you need to get your boat ready for storage. This is the time to think about taking it off the water and making the necessary preparations before storing it for a long winter. How do you do it? Here are some expert boat storage tips that may be useful to you.
Boat Storage Tips
Time goes by so fast; it’s hard to believe summer has ended. Whether you like it or not, the boating season has officially ended, and you should already be thinking about storing your boat to protect it from the harsh winter conditions. Are you sure you’re doing it right? If not, read on to know if you’re missing anything from your winter storage preparation list.
Choose a suitable storage option.
Decide where you want to store your boat. Here are your available options.
- Traditional outdoor storage. While smaller boats can be kept in the driveway or outside your back door, larger boats may need to be blocked in an empty lot in the boatyard. By choosing this option, you can freely visit your boat and work on it anytime you want. While this is currently the least expensive option, storing your boat outdoors makes it vulnerable to harsh weather conditions and increases the risk of things like vandalism. Moreover, you’ll be responsible for the cost of covering your boat and building the supporting framework.
- In-the-water winter storage. Many harbors currently offer the option of having your boat professionally covered and leaving it on the water in your regular slip over the winter. This allows you to take your boat out for a spin as weather permits, but you need to take several precautions to make this work.
- Indoor storage. Do you have a multiple-vehicle garage or pole barn to keep your boat protected throughout the cold winter months? If you do, great! Keeping your craft indoors will not only allow you to work on it whenever you like, but also will protect it against the elements and keep it away from thieves and vandals. If you don’t have a space for it at home but would really like to keep it indoors where it is much safer, consider getting a lease on a commercial storage facility or other dry-stack storage facilities.
See if anything needs to be fixed.
Take your boat out in the water before preparing it for storage. This will give you the chance to see if any issues need to be fixed before winterizing your craft.
Give it a thorough cleaning.
Start cleaning your boat thoroughly after taking it for the last spin of the season. Take out all the food, personal belongings, and trash before sweeping the deck. Don’t leave anything that may spoil if you want to avoid the risk of mold and mildew growth. Wipe down interior surfaces and remove the bilge drain plug before scrubbing the deck and hull to remove as much of the saltwater residue, grime, slime, and gunk that has accumulated over the season as you possibly can. Let it dry completely before placing it into storage.
Do you know how to properly winterize your craft? If you’re not sure if you are doing it right, here are the steps involved in preparing your boat for winter storage.
- Check for any engine issues and fix them before storage.
- Fill the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer.
- Replace the filter and change the oil to reduce the risk of engine corrosion.
- Change the antifreeze to keep your engine from freezing and corroding over the winter.
- Add fogging oil to the carburetor and cylinders to preserve the moving parts of your engine during an extremely cold season.
- Loosen the drive belts or remove them completely to prevent them from cracking.
- Check cables and lines and replace old spark plugs.
Give your precious watercraft a good wax job after going through all the steps described above. Aside from preserving the look of your boat, a nice coat of wax can also prevent rust formation.
How to Cover a Boat for Winter
Whether you are storing your boat indoors or outdoors, having a good cover helps. While a generic boat cover may be enough if you are storing your craft indoors, you’ll need something more substantial to take on the challenge if you’re going to store it outdoors.
There are several ways to cover a boat for winter. You can use a plastic or canvas tarp, shrink wrap, or a semi-custom boat cover.
- Plastic tarps are the least expensive option, but they are not durable and usually do not fit properly. Thus, they can ruin your boat’s clear coat as they flap in the wind.
- Canvas tarps are more durable and can be secured tightly, but they require a solid frame for support.
- Shrink wrap provides a tight fit and cannot be blown off even in severe weather, but the cost can be extremely prohibitive ($24 to $60 per foot). There are DIY kits available, but since the job requires highly specialized skills, you’ll want to leave it to the pros.
- Semi-custom boat covers are extremely durable and provide a great fit, but are not as expensive as shrink wrap.
Covering your boat plays an important role in keeping your precious watercraft safe and secure during the off-season, so do the right thing. Choose a high-quality weatherproof boat cover to protect your boat from the damaging effects of snow, UV rays, and freezing temperatures.
Find the Best Boat Cover for Winter Storage at Seal Skin
If you’re a serious boater, you wouldn’t settle for less. You’ll want the best boat cover to protect your craft from the harsh winter season. That’s why you need to choose a Seal Skin boat cover!
At Seal Skin Boat Covers, we offer boat covers that are 100% waterproof, yet extremely breathable, durable, and extremely affordable. We understand how much you love your boat so we help you get more for less.
We’re confident that our products will not only meet, but surpass your expectations so we’re offering a 30-day return and exchange warranty with every purchase, at no additional cost. Please feel free to call us at 800-915-0038 during our office hours (Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST) if you have any questions about our products, exchange, and refund policies. We’re here to help you find the right cover for your boat, so give us a call today!