As summer comes to an end, it’s time to store your boat for the cold months ahead. But there are a few considerations for storing your boat during the winter. Harsh winter weather can cause components of the vessel to corrode over time, so it’s essential to take precautions to ensure your boat is in great shape for the following summer.
People who live in milder climates have the option of storing their boats either outside or inside. If you live in a region like Chicago that experiences severe winter weather, you might want to transport your boat to a facility that will store it safely from snow and plummeting temperatures.
Be sure to prepare your boat for transport by draining tanks and securing all moveable parts.
Remove Flammable Materials
Before storing your boat for the winter, you’ll need to remove any items that could be sensitive to extreme heat, such as flares, fire extinguishers, electronics, and anything flammable or under pressure. Any fabrics, like life preservers or cushions, should also be removed to safeguard them from mold and mildew.
You’ll also need to take care of the battery, starting by fully charging it. Clean off the terminals and coat with grease, as well as the battery cable ends. Place the battery in a dry place and only place the battery back into your boat when you’re ready to take it back out onto the water.
Be sure to remove the propeller to check for any damage. You’ll need to make sure there isn’t fishing line or other debris stuck to it. Before reattaching, inspect it for any seal damage and lubricate any moving parts.
Winterize the Engine
The most complex part of preparing your boat for the winter is winterizing the engine.
- Be sure to flush the engine with water to remove saltwater, debris, and corrosion.
- Fill the coolant system with antifreeze.
- Remove all drive belts since they can crack in cold and dry weather.
- Replace oil and air filters and change the oil.
- Fill the gas tank with gas that has stabilizers.
- Lubricate the carburetor and spark plugs.
Covering Your Boat
Of course, you’ll need to cover your boat. Again, if you’re in an area with severe winter weather, you’ll want to find a cover that withstands frigid weather. You can even use industrial-sized shrink wrap to insulate your boat. If you’re storing your boat inside, a dehumidifier can also help prevent mildew.
If you follow these considerations for storing your boat during the winter, it’ll be ready for you to take out at the first hint of nice weather!