Winterizing your boat for storage involves preparing it to withstand the winter season while it’s not in use, confirming that it remains in optimal condition for when you’re ready to use it again. When done correctly, winterizing your boat can extend its lifespan, maintain its performance, and save you from costly repairs and replacements. Here is more information that can help you efficiently prepare to store your boat in boat storage facilities:
Clean Your Boat Thoroughly
Cleaning your boat involves washing the hull, deck, and other exterior surfaces using mild detergent and water. Interior cleaning includes scrubbing the cabin, heads, kitchen, and helm to remove grime from crevices. Cleaning can extend to the bilges. Standing water should be pumped out, and the area should be scrubbed with a bilge cleaner to remove oil and grime. Cleaning prevents rust stains, pest infestations, and mildew growth during storage. It can also help to identify any damages that need repair before an extended stay in boat storage facilities.
Drain and Protect the Engine
During storage, engine oil can drain away, exposing internal components to corrosion and scuffing. You can use a fogging spray that coats internal components to protect the engine, providing a protective layer against rust and corrosion. Warming up the engine before draining allows more dirty oil and impurities to flush out easily. Some boat owners may drain and fill the outdrive oil during winterization, further protecting the boat’s drive system. Draining and protecting the engine is necessary for preserving your boat’s functionality and longevity during winter storage.
Fuel System Care
Any remaining fuel in the system can degrade and cause damage as the temperature drops. You can fill up the tank with fresh, quality fuel before storage. Adding a fuel additive or stabilizer can prevent moisture build-up that can lead to corrosion or fuel system damage. This can protect the engine and fuel system during winter. It prevents gasoline from becoming gummy or varnish-like.
When a battery is dormant for an extended period during the winter, it should be fully charged before storage. This can reduce the risk of freezing during cold weather. Disconnect any cables that may draw power while in storage. Conventional lead-acid batteries have a monthly self-discharge rate of up to ten percent.
Checking its charge and recharging it every few weeks may help you avoid a dead battery when you go to use your boat again. End-of-season maintenance should include inspecting cables, connections, and the battery case removing any dirt or corrosion on the battery terminals. Proper battery maintenance during winter storage promotes a reliable power source for your boat when the boating season resumes.
Cover Your Boat
Pad corners and edges of the boat to reduce stress on the cover fabric, preventing tearing. You can use plastic tarps or shrink wrap. Plastic tarps can be a cost-effective option to protect your boat. Securing the top of the cover properly can prevent it from blowing off and keep moisture out. A cover can protect your boat from dust, debris, and weather elements, whether it is stored indoors or outdoors.
Seek Quality Boat Storage Facilities
Protect your investment and promote a smooth start to the next boating season by following these steps. Storing boats in storage facilities during winter can safeguard them from harsh weather conditions, reducing the risk of damage. These facilities often have climate control, preventing freezing and moisture build-up that can lead to corrosion or mold. It can also offer added security against theft or vandalism. Check if they provide maintenance services when searching for a boat storage facility. Some facilities may provide winterizing, de-winterizing, or regular check-ups. Check the size of the storage units to confirm your boat can fit.