Storing Your Boat for Winter

The end of summer comes with a lot of responsibilities for boat owners. Before the water threatens to freeze over, you have to pull out your boat and store it for the winter. Depending on what the winters look like where you’re from, you may be able to leave your boat on your driveway for the winter, or you might have to find yourself a storage unit at a self storage facility to keep the ice, mice, and snow away. Here are a few steps you should take this fall to ensure your boat is ready to hit the waves again next spring.

Clear & Clean Your Boat for Winter Storage

Before you start tinkering with the engine, it’s time to clear everything out of the boat so you can give it a good cleaning. This will also help keep mice out of the boat in the winter Hang up life jackets, and wash any towels you keep onboard to make sure everything is clean and dry for next season. Pull out cushions to let them air out, as well. Once it’s all clear, it’s time to give your boat a deep clean, both inside and out. Make sure you use the appropriate cleaners for various surfaces, including the outside of the boat. This will give you a great opportunity to check for any damage. If you find chipped paint or anything broken, now is the time to address these problems.

Winterize the engine

Now, it’s time to make sure your engine is protected for the winter, using a process called winterizing. The gas tanks should be filled, though not completely. This helps make room for the fuel to expand when the weather warms up. Add a fuel stabilizer and run the engine for about 15 minutes to ensure it has reached all the lines. Change your engine oil and check if the filters need to be changed, a task that should be performed yearly. Go over all hoses, belts and clamps to check for damage, and make any replacements necessary. Depending on where you’ll store your boat, you may need to add antifreeze to the coolant system, which should first be flushed regardless of storage methods.

How to Keep Mice Out of Boat in Winter Storage

Store your boat in a clean area with a hard floor and no debris – don’t make things cozy for the mice. Make sure your boat has a tight cover that is fitted well. Block any openings (like the intake and exhaust). Use peppermint oil where appropriate.

Finally, remove all electronics and store them in a warm, dry place. Clean the battery terminals and cover your boat to store it. Whether you have to store a boat or a few boxes, you’ll find a great deal at your local SecurCare Self Storage facility.