You’ve had your time in the sun, and now you’re ready to store your boat for the winter season. Winterizing your boat is crucial in protecting and extending its lifespan against the season’s harsh conditions. But if finding an adequate storage solution has been a challenge, you’re not alone. Make sure your vessel is ready to drive the minute boating season returns, and keep reading to learn how to prepare your boat for the winter like a professional.
As the weather turns colder and the boating season comes to an end, it’s crucial to properly winterize your boat to avoid damage from freezing temperatures. If you don’t take the time to find proper boat storage for the winter, your vehicle will suffer for it.
Boats have many exposed parts that corrode when they aren’t inspected and maintained. Water left in systems can freeze, expand, and crack components like pipes, tanks, pumps, and seals. Additionally, batteries left unattended may not hold a charge when needed in spring. Finding a way to store your boat all winter long can save thousands of dollars in repair costs.
When it comes to boat storage, you have several options that fall under two primary categories: dry storage and marina boat storage. Some of our favorite methods are:
- Indoor Self-Storage Facilities – 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 – Storing your boat alongside your house or in the yard is a simple and affordable solution. It may be more vulnerable to the weather, but you can mitigate some of the risks with a winter wrap.
- Marina Slip – Marina slips are the most common form of wet storage. With a slip, you can easily access the water and befriend other boaters. Dock fees depend on your location and the length of your boat.
Preparing your boat for the winter is just one responsibility in a boat owner’s life. Do you need help protecting your investment in the long term? Finance Solution’s boat dealer financing services arm you with cost-effective and fully featured policies.
In addition to exploring winter storage options, we advise you to follow these steps to ensure your boat is in the best condition possible:
Your first order of business should be purchasing a winter wrap for your boat. This gives your boat a chance against harsh weather and UV rays when covered. Exposing it to rain, wind, and snowmelt unprotected negatively affects its performance and can cost you a pretty penny in repairs come springtime. Cover your boat with shrink wrap for extra protection.
You won’t get far without a working engine. Remove salt and grime from yours by flushing it with fresh water. Change all filters—oil, fuel system, transmission—before storage so they don’t corrode, and top off the engine oil, gear case lubricant, and power steering fluid levels. Be sure to flush the systems with antifreeze and remove dry belts to avoid snapping. Run your engine and look out for any issues, then top off your gas tank before storage.
To prevent cracks and worse damage, it is essential to drain all water from areas where it could collect, including:
- Plumbing system
- Freshwater system
- Live wells
There’s nothing worse than returning to a filthy boat. Scrub your boat with soap and water, carefully removing all mold and mildew. Remove any plant life clinging to your hull and wash the hull with soap and water to remove dirt, grime, and saltwater residue, paying extra attention to the waterline area. Don’t forget to fix hull cracks before next season. Use a pump or sponge to remove any moisture, oil, or debris from the bilge. Make sure your boat is completely dry before storage.
Disconnect and remove batteries to prevent depletion and store them on trickle chargers. Clean the terminals and store the battery in a dry and heated place. Don’t place it back into the boat until the next season, but check the charge every few weeks with a maintainer.
Boat storage costs vary greatly depending on the size of your boat and your choice of method. Additionally, security features like video surveillance can drive up 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.
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