How to Prepare Your Boat for Boat Storage: A Guide

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, boat sales reached a new high in 2021.

As a result of social distancing measures, families across the U.S. have decided to take to the water. However, as fall and winter approach, many have started Googling “boat storage near me.”

If you have this need, likely, you’re also wondering how to protect your vessel. Finding boat storage is one thing, but ensuring that you’re ready for next season is another.

RV and boat storage are simple tasks, but they do require some good old-fashioned elbow grease. Work smarter, not harder, when the time comes by reading this article today!

Remove and Store Objects in Your Boat

If you’re packing up for the season, there’s no need to keep unnecessary items in your boat. This removal process should include things like:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Life jackets
  • Flares
  • Extra rope
  • VHF radio

Some of these items hold up better than others in extreme temperatures. But, there’s no reason to take an unnecessary risk. And don’t forget to take out anything that could grow mildew as well.

Fill Your Boat with Gas

Have you ever left a lawnmower in the garage over the winter without filling the tank? If so, you may have discovered that it didn’t start when you needed it the following spring.

The same principle can apply to the gas tank in your boat. When condensation builds in the tank, it can crack during the winter.

Drain Your Boat

You don’t want to store a boat only to grow mold and cause a mess or damage. Once you get the vessel on land, ensure that water is gone from:

  • Bilge
  • Head
  • Pipes
  • Seacocks
  • Water tanks

If the process is going slow, you can raise the bow so gravity can help with this task. In some cases, boat storage facilities will have advice for ensuring this happens the right way.

Clean Your Boat

If there’s one task that can prevent problems, it’s giving your boat a good wash. If you don’t ensure this happens, the sediments or saltwater can rust away your good time.

Pay close attention to the interior also. A good vacuum or wiping down the leather can keep it looking like new for years.

There are specialized products for boats that can be worth the investment, too. Using the wrong product could leave behind salt or other sediments that can cause unsightly problems. Even if you don’t spend time in Trinity Bay and go with freshwater, consider this advice.

Change the Oil in Your Boat

Unfortunately, leaving your boat in storage with old oil can lead to corrosion. Water or even acid can build up and cause significant damage.

As a result, you’ll want to find a time to do this when the engine is marginally warm. While you’re at work, don’t forget to change the filters or do the same for inboard engines.

Lubricate the Moving Parts of Your Boat

If you don’t lubricate some crucial mechanisms of your boat, you could find them in bad shape after winter. Grab a can of WD-40 or another lubricant and apply it to latches or hinges.

Additionally, don’t procrastinate and forget to do the same with the propeller. An ounce of prevention for critical parts can prevent pounding headaches while trying to get sail-worthy later.

Add Engine Fogging Oil to Your Boat

Spraying engine fogging oil isn’t as familiar as it should be, but it’s an equally crucial task.

During the colder months, you’ll thank yourself for keeping these precious moving parts lubricated. It’s worth consulting the owner’s manual first, though. You’ll want to know if you should spray the fogging oil onto the carburetor or the spark plugs.

Remove the Battery in Your Boat

If your boat doesn’t need to run anytime soon, it doesn’t need a battery either. Leaving this part connected without use can lead to corroded cables or worse.

Moreover, you could find yourself with a dead battery by the time you pull the vessel out of storage again.

Disconnecting the power and storing it can keep it from losing its charge over the winter season.

Drain the Coolant in Your Boat

You don’t want to allow dirt, salt, and other debris to sit in the cooling system. So, before hanging up your captain’s cap, use fresh water to flush it out.

Even while living in a warmer climate like Texas, you’ll want to consider using anti-freeze. Severe weather swings in the Lone Star State have become more frequent and less predictable in recent years.

Cover Your Boat

After putting in hard work to prep for winter, you don’t want to skip this step. Otherwise, you could find that the time you spent preparing didn’t help by the following spring.

Even with indoor boat storage, having a protective cover will keep dust from piling where it shouldn’t. Furthermore, safely securing boats and RVs this way can prevent rust or corrosion.

Store Your Boat Properly

If you leave your vessel in the driveway, you could find yourself with more problems than a complaint from the HOA. Leaving a boat exposed to the elements is an invitation for problems to settle in and stay.

Don’t allow anyone to tempt you into leaving your craft in the water, either. Saltwater, hurricanes, and other factors can damage the hull. If this damage occurs, you won’t thank yourself for skipping this step after looking into units and rates.

In addition, stainless railings and any metal component can fall victim to corrosion quickly.

Need Boat Storage or More Advice?

Boat storage involves more work than new owners may expect. From basic cleaning to winterizing tasks, there’s plenty to do before calling it quits. But, if you base your annual checklist on sound advice, you can enjoy your watercraft for decades.

For boat and RV storage needs in Baytown, our knowledgeable and professional team is here to help. Contact us through our website today with questions, or call 281-573-3888 for more details.