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11 Essential Winter Boat Storage Tips You Should Follow Right Now

For many, the passing of Labor Day signifies the official end of the summer. While this is true, there are some areas, such as Augusta, where the weather remains nice, warm, and pleasant after that date. As a result, you may enjoy being in your boat on the water, long after Labor Day passes.

While this is true, eventually, cold weather is going to move in. Before this happens, it’s best to make sure your boat is ready and have winter boat storage lined up. Keep reading to find out how you can get your boat ready for winter weather.

1. Inspect the Boat for Potential Problems

Before putting the boat in storage, take it out for one last ride. Listen for any signs of an engine problem and to see if any repairs will be needed. It’s best to handle these issues before putting the boat up for the winter.

2. Change the Oil

If you don’t change the oil in the boat, any acids or water that have gotten into the engine can cause corrosion. Be sure to change the filter and flush it out so there’s no water left behind. Once this is done, you can add new oil.

3. Take the Battery Out of the Boat

Due to inconsistent use during the summer, your boat battery may not charge completely every time it is used. The issue is made worse if you let it sit in the boat while it’s stored during the winter.

When spring arrives, chances are the battery will be dead. It’s smart to remove the battery and keep it in a dry, warm place. You should also use a trickle charger, which will keep the battery in good shape during the cold weather months.

4. Tend to the Gas

Part of your boat winterization process needs to include paying attention to the gas. You should fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer. After adding the stabilizer, run the flusher for approximately 10 minutes so it runs through the tank.

If you plan to store your boat in a local storage unit, make sure there’s no gas left in the tank. You can siphon out any leftover gas to ensure your boat is ready for storage.

5. Prepare the Boat’s Interior

If there are electronics in your boat, take them out. They are vulnerable to extreme temperatures and moisture. All organic materials, such as fabric, canvas, and leather need to be removed. If moisture gets on these materials, it can cause the growth of mildew and mold.

You also need to empty all the water tanks and run antifreeze through the boat’s water pipes. By doing this, you can avoid significant damage and the need for expensive repairs in the spring.

6. Inspect the Boat Trailer

Are the lights on your boat trailer working properly? At the end of every season, be sure your directional and brake lights are functioning properly. This is vital for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road.

7. Wash and Wax the Boat

It’s important to make sure your boat is cleaned well both inside and outside. Once you have done this, cover the body with wax.

By applying wax to your boat, you can keep rust from corroding the body. It’s especially important if you plan to store your boat outside.

8. Keep Rodents Out of the Boat

Rodent damage isn’t something that most boat insurance policies will cover. If you plan to store your boat inside your garage or a storage facility, consider using mouse traps to catch the rodents before they get on board.

Another preventative measure is to put scented laundry fabric sheets or mothballs around the boat. This can help keep rodents away.

9. Cover Your Boat

Purchasing a quality boat cover is another smart way to protect it during the cold weather months. A cover will protect the boat from moisture, grime, dirt, and dust. Also, using a cover means you will have to do minimal work when warmer weather returns.

10. Fog the Cylinders and Carburetor

Remove and replace all the spark plugs. Use fogging oil in the carburettor and in the cylinders before you put your boat in storage.

When you turn the engine back on in the spring, there will be smoke because of the fogging oil’s presence. While this is true, it will only happen the first few times you turn the engine on.

11. Elevate the Tires While the Boat is Stored

If you can, store your boat on a trailer. It’s a good idea to put your trailer on pieces of wood or blocks to protect the tires. If you don’t do this, they may experience damage during the winter.

Replacing boat trailer tires can be a significant investment. As a result, you should take preventative measures to ensure no damage occurs.

Winter Boat Storage: Now You Know

As you can see, there are several things you need to do to prepare for winter boat storage. By using the tips and information here, you can ensure no serious damage occurs to your boat and that it is ready to go when warmer weather returns.

If you are searching for a quality location to store your boat in Augusta, contact our team at Hollywood Self Storage. We offer an array of storage options that will ensure your boat, along with any other items you have, are safe and secure all winter long.