You’ve had your time in the sun, and now you’re ready to store your boat for the winter season. But finding winter storage for boats is a process. Properly storing your boat keeps it in good condition and makes sure that it’s ready to drive the minute the boating season returns. Keep reading to learn how to prepare your boat for the winter like a professional.
If you don’t take the time to find proper boat storage for the winter, your boat will suffer for it. Boats have many exposed parts that corrode when they aren’t inspected and maintained. Cold weather and other elements worsen wear and tear and cause damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair.
When it comes to boat storage, you have several options that fall under two primary categories: dry storage and marina boat storage. Here’s an explanation for a few of our favorite indoor and outdoor storage methods:
- Indoor Self-Storage Facility – Keeping your boat at a storage facility is one of the best ways to protect it from winter weather. They’re easy to find and offer security features like gated access and video surveillance.
- Dry Stacked Storage – Dry stacked storage keeps your boat safe inside a warehouse. Boats are stacked and secured using forklifts and protected from rain and UV rays. This option is less expensive than marina storage and well-suited for smaller boats.
- Home Storage – This is a simple and affordable solution. Store your boat alongside your house or in the yard. Your boat may be more vulnerable to the weather, but you can mitigate some of the risks with a boat winter wrap.
- Marina Slip – Marina slips are the most common form of wet storage. With a slip, you have instant access to the water and can befriend other boaters. Dock fees depend on your location and the length of your boat.
In addition to exploring storage options, you also need to do a few things that ensure your boat is in the best condition possible before you put it on ice. Follow these steps to winterize it:
Your first order of business should be purchasing your boat a winter wrap. You give your boat a chance against harsh weather and UV rays when you cover it. Letting your boat endure rain, wind, and snow without proper protection negatively affects its performance and can cost you a pretty penny come springtime. Cover your boat with shrink wrap for extra protection.
You won’t get far without an engine. Remove salt and grime from your engine by flushing it with fresh water. Replace the oil and any filters. Refill the cooling system with antifreeze. Remove dry belts to avoid snapping. Run your engine and look out for any issues. Hull cracks will need to be fixed before next season. Before storing your boat, top off your gas tank.
There’s nothing worse than returning to a filthy boat. Performing a little maintenance before you store your boat can save you trouble later. Drain the bilge, head, seacocks, and pipes. Provide antifreeze to the bilge and water tank. Scrub your boat with soap and water, being careful to remove all mold and mildew. Remove any plant life clinging to your hull. Let your vessel dry completely before applying your winter boat cover.
Remove your battery and give it a full charge. Clean the terminals and store the battery in a dry and heated place. Don’t place your battery back into the boat until the next boating season, but check your battery’s charge every few weeks with a maintainer.
Preparing your boat for the winter is just one responsibility in the life of a boat owner. Do you need help protecting your boat in the long term? Finance Solution’s boat dealer financing services arm you with cost-effective and fully featured policies.
Boat storage costs vary greatly depending on the size of your boat and your choice of storage. Additionally, security features like video surveillance can drive up boat storage prices. Large vessels with electronic appliances and expansive hulls could cost thousands of dollars to store at a high-end indoor facility, while more compact boats in outdoor storage may cost under $100 a month.
Insurance keeps your boat protected throughout the year. If you want to protect your boat from loss or damage, the experts at Finance Solutions can help you navigate the finance and insurance process. We’ve spent years building relationships with industry leaders and can help you find excellent rates and terms at low prices with no hidden costs. When you work with our team, you receive cost-effective financing, insurance, and warranty services through one provider.