Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tips for Storing Your Boat in Winter

Boating activities usually subside in winter since most lakes are frozen over and the temperatures are too low to have fun. Then comes the all too important time of preparing your boat for storage. You need to take your boat out of the water for the cold season. There are various self-storage units that are designed specifically for boat storage. However you can’t just park your boat and leave it there for the next three or four months. You also need to do the following:

  • Take your boat out for one last trip before taking it out of the water. This final round gives you the perfect chance to see if there is anything that needs repair or replacement before winterizing your boat. This will ensure that your boat is ready to hit the water when spring comes around while everyone else is fiddling with wenches. You should mend any hull damage on your boat before storage since cracks and other forms of damage may get worse during storage.
  • Clean your boat thoroughly immediately it hauled out of the water. Your boat should be store completely clean. You should scrub off all the gunk and grime from the bottom of the boat. Scrub the decks and the cabin to make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned. You should also clean your hulls, strainers and open the seacocks to drain any water that may still be trapped inside. Wash your boat early enough to give it enough time to dry completely before going into storage. After cleaning, place mildew control bags in the cabin compartments to prevent that nasty storage stink.
  • To avoid damaging your engine during storage, top up your gas tank and add a gas stabilizer. This will reduce the risk of condensation, which can ruin your engine. Just before locking up for storage, run the engine for about 15 minutes so all the additives reaches the gas in the fuel lines and the boat engine. Replace engine oil and filters, check hoses, belts, clamps, clean the strainers and flush the coolant system while at it. You can buy an anti freeze formula for the storage period. This process can get quite complicated and you should consider leaving it to a qualified mechanic.
  • Remove the electronics from the boat before storage. You should remove the battery and store it in a warm and dry place. Make sure you clean the battery terminals of any corrosion and slightly grease them to prevent rusting too. You should store the battery in full charge; you can use a marine battery charger to do this.
  • Jack up the boat while it is in storage. You need to find a strong support system for the boat while it is out of the water. Proper hull placement will ensure it doesn’t become distorted or compromised. You can create a custom cradle for your boat that supports the engine, the bulkhead and the keel of your boat. 

Posted By: Stowaway Marine