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Safely Storing Your Boat For The Winter

When you are ready to put your boat away for the winter, there are some things that you need to do before storing it. Even if you are storing the boat inside, such as in a heated garage or shed, it is important to winterize the boat before you put it away. 

Wash Your Boat

Washing your boat and getting all the organic material from the lake or the salt from saltwater trips off the boat is the first step in getting it ready to store. The boat should be clean inside and out to keep mold and other organic material from growing over the offseason. 

If the boat is wet inside, make sure to get it dry before putting it away, as well. Standing water can cause your boat to rot, and it can damage things like cabinets or bulkheads over time. Wash the trailer down while you are at it so that it does not rot or rust while the boat is sitting on it all winter. 

Change the Oil

The oil in the lower unit of the boat may have water in it, and if it does, the water can freeze over the winter, cracking the lower unit housing. Drain the oil and replace it with fresh oil before you put the boat away. Let the old oil drain completely and leave the drain open for a few minutes to allow any water to drip out, as well. 

Once the oil has finished dripping, replace the drain plug and fill the lower unit with clean oil. The new oil will protect the lower unit, and when you are ready to get the boat out in the spring, you will not need to do any oil change. 

Shrink Wrap the Boat

One of the best ways to store your boat for the winter is to have the boat shrink-wrapped. The wrap covers the entire boat and will keep water, snow, and animals from getting into the boat while it is sitting. Most marinas can shrink-wrap the boat for you, and many even offer storage in their yard if you need a place to put the boat for the winter. 

If you anticipate needing to get into the boat over the winter, a zipper can be installed in the shrink-wrap that allows you to access the inside of the boat. Let the marina know that you want those options so they can plan for it. If you wait until after the boat is wrapped, it will be too late to add the zipper and you will have to have the boat rewrapped to add it. 

To learn more about boat winterization, contact a boat supplier.