The cold winter months can be hard on boats, and proper storage is essential to ensure that your boat will remain in good condition until the weather warms up. Storing a boat during the winter requires some extra preparation, but with the right steps, you can protect your vessel from damage and get it ready for its next voyage. Here are seven tips for storing your boat this winter season.
1. Clean Before Storage:
A thorough cleaning of the exterior and interior of your boat is essential before storing it for the winter. This includes washing the exterior, scrubbing away any dirt or algae from the fiberglass, and vacuuming out all of the debris from the inside. It’s also important to check for any loose hoses or wires that may have come undone and repair them before you store it away.
2. Wax and Polish:
After the exterior of your boat has been cleaned, waxing and polishing will help protect it from the cold winter months. Apply a good quality wax to the hull of your boat, then use an acrylic polish to give it a nice shine.
3. Check Fluids and Batteries:
It’s important to check the fluid levels of your engine before you store it away for the winter. This includes checking the oil, transmission fluid, fuel, and coolant levels. It’s also essential to disconnect your batteries and store them in a dry, cool area.
4. Cover Your Boat:
A boat cover will help protect your vessel from the cold winter weather and keep debris out while it’s in storage. Additionally, you should add an additional layer of protection like a tarp to ensure that no moisture can penetrate through to the interior of the boat.
5. Inspect for Damage:
Before putting your boat away for the winter, it’s important to inspect all parts of it for any damage that may have occurred during its last voyage. Pay special attention to areas like the hull and interior as these are most likely to experience wear and tear over time. Repair any damages you find before storing it away.
6. Store in a Safe Place:
When deciding where to store your boat for the winter, choose a location that’s safe and secure. Make sure the area is free from any debris or sharp objects that could damage your vessel while in storage. Additionally, be sure to use dock lines and fenders to keep it securely in place.
7. Check for Pests:
Before storing your boat, check for any signs of pests like mice or other rodents that may have made their way into the interior of the vessel. Put some mouse traps or other pest deterrents around the area before you store them away to ensure that no unwanted guests make it onto your boat.
Following these seven tips for winter boat storage will help protect your vessel and ensure that it is in good condition when you’re ready to take it out on the water again. Make sure to properly clean, wax, polish, check fluids and batteries, cover your boat with a protective layer, inspect for damage, store it in a safe place, and check for pests before you put it away. With the right steps, you can ensure that your boat will be ready to hit the waves when warmer weather returns. Happy sailing!