As fall approaches and temperatures get colder, it’s time to say goodbye to those hot, sunny days while on the water. This means that you have to bid your boat a bittersweet farewell as well. Before winter comes, your boat should be in for proper storage. However, boat storage isn’t as simple as pulling your boat out of the water and hauling it into your backyard.
If you want to protect your investment, you should know proper boat storage. Both the cold weather and long-term storage can damage your boat which may lead to costly repairs. This is especially important if you have a huge boat inventory. To help you out, here are some tips for boat storage in the off-season.
4 Tips for Off-Season Boat Storage
1. Thoroughly Clean the Boat
Before putting away your boat for storage, make sure that you clean it thoroughly. This means cleaning the boat inside and out. A clean boat is a pest-free boat.
Some of the items that should be cleaned include the hull, propellers, cabinets and drawers, shafts, strainers, deck, and upholstery. Every inch of the boat should be inspected and cleaned. In addition, remove all items from inside the boat such as electronics, fire extinguisher, and flares before cleaning. All drawers and cabinets should be emptied as well.
For the exterior, pressure wash the haul to remove deep-seated dirt and residue. Inspect the propellers, rudders, and shafts for barnacles and scrape them off.
2. Check the Engine and Change the Oil
The engine is one of the most important boat components. Therefore, before going into storage, the engine must be inspected and should be routinely inspected for maintenance purposes during the off-season. For starters, you should inspect the basics and check the boat’s oil levels.
As a rule of thumb, an oil change is required for every 50-100 running hours. Any water or acids that may have gotten into the oil can cause corrosion in the engine. Thus, it’s best to change the filter and flush out any remaining fluids, then top up with new oil.
3. Propeller Maintenance
If you are using dry-dock storage during the off-season, maintaining the boat propeller is easier. With the boat up and out of the water, checking the propeller for maintenance should be a breeze. Check for the usual routine boat repairs such as leaky seals and worn bearings.
Check the propeller for any signs of wear and damage. This way, you will have plenty of time to decide whether or not repairs are needed or a replacement is in order.
4. Cover the Boat
It seems like a no-brainer but this step is something that you can’t afford to overlook. When it comes to boat covers, avoid cutting corners. You should spare no expense when buying a boat cover. Simple tarps can be used but they simply don’t provide enough protection.
For the best protection, you should consider getting a polyester fiber boat cover for its superior water and mildew resistance.
Keep Your Boat Protected
Before you beeline to your local speedboat dealership, you should know the importance of boat storage during the off-season. With these tips, your boat should be ready for off-season storage.