Boat owners have to store their vessels during the winter season, and it is important that you prepare for this in advance so that you can protect your boat and keep it safe. Water will freeze in low temperatures, and even if it doesn’t turn into solid ice, very cold water can still damage your boat, so storing it out of the water is a must. This will prevent ice or weather damage to the hull, and regardless of whether you choose to store your boat inside or outside, the following tips will help you store your vessel properly:
Drain Your Boat
Once you remove your boat from the water, you need to drain the water tanks, pipes, heads, bilge, and seacocks. If possible, raise the bow to accelerate the drainage process. If you have an electric water heater, you will have to isolate it, which you can do by removing the in and out lines and connecting them together. It’s recommended that you spray the bilge with a moisture-displacing lubricant and that you add antifreeze into the bilge and water tanks, as this will help prevent freezing. Always winterize the engine before you drain the engine water intake.
Clean Your Boat
A thorough clean is a must before you place your boat in storage, so scrub the entire vessel with soap and water. This includes the exterior and interior. Make sure you get rid of any plants and open every drawer, locker, refrigerator, and freezer to remove any contents that may be present. Make sure the boat is completely dry before placing it in storage.
Winterize Your Engine
Use fresh water to flush your engine, as this will remove salt, dirt and corrosion. Refill the coolant system with antifreeze and replace the oil and all filters after you warm up your engine just briefly to loosen any impurities. You should also remove drive belts to avoid snapping as a result of tension and must top off your engine with a full tank of gas mixed with a stabilizer.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
Grease your steering system and control mechanisms and apply moisture-displacing lubricant on all of the moving metal parts like the hinges, latches and linkages. Do this lightly and detach the propeller to inspect for fishing line and seal damage, then lubricate and return to its position.
Remove the Battery and Charge it
You must take out the battery to completely charge it. Clean its terminals and coat them with grease and repeat this step for the battery cable ends. Store your battery in a warm, dry place until the spring, when you can place it back into your boat.
If you’d like more information regarding the proper ways to boat storage, Wheeler’s RV Storage can help. We can help you store your boat and will keep it safe until the spring when you can use your boat once again. Our facility is clean and secure, so if you want peace of mind, contact us today!