7 Key Steps to Store Your Boat for the Winter Oct 12, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
Unless you are lucky enough to live in an area where the weather is warm year-round, you will find yourself getting ready to store your boat every winter. While simply getting it out of the water can help it stay in good shape, there are some other important things to consider.
Take a Final Spin
Before you get your boat ready for storage, take it for a final spin. Use this time to make sure everything is working properly and check what maintenance needs to be done. You want your boat to be in good shape before you store it, and taking it on the water is the best way to make sure this is the case.
Clean It Thoroughly
Hopefully, cleaning your boat before storing it is obvious, but it is worth mentioning. You don’t want to give it a once over; instead, clean it thoroughly. Get rid of gunk, slime, grime, and anything else. Let the water drain out, so the boat is completely dry before you store it.
Prepare the Gas
There are a few options for taking care of the gas in your boat, but the best is to use a stabilizer. Ideally, you should fill up your gas tank and then add a gas stabilizer that reduces the risk of condensation. Follow the instructions on the stabilizer, which will likely suggest running the engine for about fifteen minutes. Be sure to run the engine outdoors and do not breathe in the exhaust fumes.
Do Other Maintenance
While preparing your gas to last the winter, check the clamps, belts, and hoses in your boat, as well. Flush your coolant with water and add some antifreeze to the mixture. The best option is to have a mechanic take care of this inspection for you, so you don’t miss anything.
Take Out Electronics
If your electronics are removable, then take them out of your boat before storing it. The cold is hard on boats, but it is even harder on electronics. This means you should remove your entertainment system and your battery and store them in a warm place.
Cover It Up
Just like any other vehicle that is being stored, you should cover your boat before storing it. This will protect it from grime, dust, dirt, and moisture. If you are storing your boat outside, it will also protect it from the elements and UV rays. Even if your boat is inside in a boat garage or storage facility, covering it can make a difference and prevent the accumulation of dust, grime, or other particulates.
Pick the Right Storage Spot
Finally, be sure you have carefully considered where to store your boat. While keeping it outside on your grass or driveway is tempting and free, it will take up room and put your boat at risk from exposure to the elements. A boat storage unit is a good option for protection from the elements, and dry stack storage can keep it close to the water, although exposed to the elements. Indoor storage is ideal, but it is the most expensive option.