5 Tips to Get Ready for Winter Boat Storage

Overlooking the captains chair of a boat on the lake

With winter quickly approaching, boating season is unfortunately coming to an end, and that means thinking about the future care and storage of your vessel. Like storing your car for winter, boat storage isn’t as simple as just pulling her from the water and letting her sit in the driveway until the weather heats back up. Here are 5 tips to make sure your boat is ready for winter storage.

Inspect Your Boat

The first thing that you’ll want to do to prepare your boat for the winter months of storage is going to be running a full front to back, top to bottom inspection. During this time you’ll want to look for anything that might need to be repaired or replaced such as cracked hoses, leaking seals, or any signs of corrosion. Any repairs left unchecked can lead to even worse problems when you want to take your boat out of storage after a long cold winter.

Do the Maintenance

Now that we’ve looked over the boat for any initial problems, the next thing we want is to get her into tip-top shape. Before docking your boat in a storage facility there are a few things you’ll want to take care of to prevent any damage to your vessel over your boat storage period. Changing the oil and antifreeze can help to keep your engine from corroding, while applying fogging oil will help to preserve the moving parts of the engine. Filling the gas tank can also prevent the tank from collecting condensation and corroding while your boat is being stored, while adding a fuel stabilizer will help make sure your fuel is ready to use once Spring rolls around. Removing or loosening your drive belts will help to prevent cracks from the stress of being under tension for so long and disconnecting your battery and topping it off with distilled water will help to keep it from draining and dying over the winter.

Clean and Wax

For the exterior, you will want to start by rinsing with clean water to remove any loose grime or debris from the surface. The rinse also helps to prepare your boat for scrubbing, trying to scrub a dry boat can damage the boat’s finish. Follow up with a specialized boat cleaner to remove any tough grime or stains and then rinse. While doing your cleaning, you’ll want to work on small areas at a time to make sure you are able to get to each section before the cleaner has time to dry before you can get to it.To bring back that “new boat” shine, you can buff the exterior by hand or with a rotary buffer. Similar to using the cleaner, you’ll want to work in small sections to make sure you can get to each area before the wax dries out. Waxing your boat after a good buff will not only help to bring out the shine but will help stop rust and corrosion.

Get it Dry

Overhead of the bow of a boat

Once everything has been greased, replaced and cleaned you’ll want to make sure to remove any standing water that might be leftover from cleaning or that last trip to the lake. If possible, raise the bow of the boat to help with the draining. Open up any lockers, drawers or other storage areas to check for standing water as well as give the moisture time to evaporate before putting your boat into storage for the season. Moisture absorbers or mildew control bags can also be placed in the cabin or any compartments to help with the control and prevention of mold and mildew.

Cover it up

The last thing you’ll want to do for your boat storage is to make sure that you have a good boat cover to help protect your boat from dirt, moisture and any unwanted visitors. A top quality and custom-fitted cover is the best option to maximize the protection of your vehicle for the months that it will be left idle, plus you’ve already spent the time cleaning your boat, why not keep it that way!

Now that we’ve talked about tips for getting your boat storage ready, you just need a place to store it. The best option for storage is in a climate controlled storage unit to better protect your boat from the elements. If you’re looking to store your boat this winter contact Albuquerque Self Storage! We have indoor climate-controlled units as well as outdoor storage options for you.