Properly preparing your boat for long-term storage is essential to maintaining its condition and preventing premature costly repairs. Whether at the end of the boating season or for a couple of months during the Summer proper preparation and planning is important. We will explore some basic tips and preventive measures you can take to protect your boat while in storage.
Preparing Your Boat for Extended Storage During the Summer
Many people that own boats do not take them out every weekend on the lake. Some only use them during the Summer holidays of Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. For those weeks in between usage there are a few things you can do to help make your boating experience smooth and enjoyable.
Disconnect the Battery – Properly maintaining your boat’s battery is crucial to ensuring that it functions well throughout the boating season. Disconnecting the battery while in storage helps extend the life of your battery. Leaving the battery connected can drain the battery and make it more susceptible to corrosion.
Clean and Cover the Boat – After you park your boat be sure to take a little time to clean the boat. Removing trash and unwanted items at this time makes it quicker and easier to get on the water for your next outing.
A quality well fitting boat cover helps protect your boat from the elements. A properly fitted cover will repel water and prevent the accumulation of water causing rust or rot.
Remove Loose Gear – If your boat doesn’t have lockable storage for your loose gear be sure to remove it before putting the cover on. Some of the items you may want to consider removing are electronics, fishing tackle, watersports gear and life vests.
Use Blocks to Park Your Trailer Tires On – Use wooden blocks or other sturdy materials to park your trailer tires on, especially if you will be parking on dirt, gravel or rocks.
Preparing Your Boat for Winter Storage
Getting your boat ready for storage for the Winter months is extremely important to protect and preserve the condition of your boat. Freezing temperatures and precipitation can cause damage to your boat while in storage. Taking the time to properly prepare your boat for the Winter helps protect your boat white also protecting the value of boat ownership.
In addition to the items mentioned above taking these additional extra steps are important for storing your boat through winter months.
Prepare the Engine – Be sure to follow your engine’s manufacturing recommendations for winterizing.
Preparing the Fuel System – When it is time to winterize your boat that is also a great time to replace fuel filters and water separators. When completed, top off the fuel tank or tanks and add a fuel stabilizer. Then run the engine to circulate the additive through the entire fuel system to help protect your entire system.
Drain the Plumbing – If your boat has any plumbing systems be sure to drain them before storing for the Winter. This would include the livewell. Follow the manufacturer recommendations for any of these types of systems.
Proper Lubrication – Lubricate the steering mechanisms, joints and other metal moving parts. Proper lubrication can help prevent rust and corrosion.
Taking the time to make sure your boat is prepared for storage goes a long way to improving the boat ownership experience. Boat ownership provides plenty of wonderful times for friends and family on the water. Don’t let boat storage come between you enjoying your boat or just being a hassle. Being prepared during the in between times helps enhance those experiences by helping make sure your boat is lake ready.