Boating is usually an activity for spring and summer because the weather is warm and the water is pleasant. When boating season ends, you may need a secure place to store your boat until next year. Boat storage facilities offer various solutions to store your vessel during the off-season and keep it in excellent condition. Here’s what to know about winterizing your boat before storage:
About Boat Winterizing
Winterizing is preparing your boat for cold weather storage. Winter comes with freezing temperatures, which can cause issues with the engine and other components if you don’t implement proper measures. If water is left in the engine system, it can freeze and cause cracks and leaks. Winterizing your boat protects it from the cold and helps maintain its condition for the next boating season. You can winterize your boat yourself or hire a professional. After that, you can evaluate boat storage facilities and choose the most suitable one.
How to Winterize Your Boat for Storage
Boat winterizing requires several steps to ready your watercraft for the cold months. Here is more information on how to winterize your boat:
1. Drain the Water
Your boat has various places where water accumulates, including the engine, manifolds, bilges, water pumps, water heaters, porta-a-potties, and other areas. Evaluate all areas to determine water presence and drain it. Cold temperatures may cause the water to freeze and expand, damaging certain components. It can also corrode and rust certain parts. If your boat requires raising to drain water, do that to get as much water as possible out. A moisture-displacing lubricant can help with areas like bilges. You can then add non-toxic antifreeze to your plumbing system, bilge, and other water-prone places to prevent freezing.
2. Clean Your Boat
Winterizing also requires cleaning your boat’s body and interior. Cleaning the outside involves removing dirt, grime, salt residue, and other unwanted substances using water and mild detergent. You can then apply a wax coating to protect it from corrosion and UV damage. Remove any electronics inside and clean this area too. That includes carpets, freezers, drawers, and refrigerators to remove food particles that can cause mold.
3. Prepare the Engine
The engine requires proper preparation to keep it in excellent condition. Warm the engine to loosen oils, then replace the transmission fluid and oil filters. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil on the holes to protect them from moisture, rust, and corrosion. Examine the engine for signs of wear and tear, including cracks in hoses, corrosion on cylinders, or anything else that may cause issues. Add a stabilizer to your fuel to protect it from degradation during storage.
4. Prime the Battery
Leaving your battery inside the boat can drain and damage it. Remove it for the winter and store it in a dry place with temperatures above freezing. Cover the clean terminals with some grease to protect them from moisture. Consider a trickle charger, which slowly charges your battery over time. It helps maintain the battery’s health while in storage.
5. Cover Your Boat
If you use an outdoor storage facility, your boat may be prone to the sun, rain, snow, dirt, and other debris. Cover your boat to protect it from the elements and keep it pristine. Choose one with proper ventilation to prevent mold and mildew growth while allowing air circulation. You may also need to secure the cover with straps, ropes, or bungee cords. Even if you’re considering boat storage facilities with indoor storage, a cover may still be necessary to protect your boat.
Choose the Right Boat Storage Facilities
After winterizing your boat for storage, look for suitable boat storage facilities. Consider things like indoor, covered, or outdoor storage, the facility’s location, security, access hours, and cost. Prioritize reputable storage businesses to get high-quality services and protect your vessel from various risks.