Winter is coming! As winter slowly approaches with all its coldness and shivers, we must be ready to defend ourselves and our boats. One of the best ways to protect our boats from the harsh winter weather is to use a storage facility. More specifically, inside boat storage, storing your boat inside is definitely one of the best ways to help protect your boat from the cold weather. Now before any misunderstandings arise, I would like to note something. I’m not saying that when winter rolls around to just dump your boat at a storage facility with absolute certainty that’ll be completely fine. What I am saying is that before you store your precious boat at a storage facility, there should be a checklist you should complete before the storage. This’ll help prepare your boat for the long winters so when spring rolls around it’ll be in tip-top shape. So what could possibly be on the checklist you might ask? Here is a list of 5 important must-dos to help protect your boat for winter storage.
1.) Thoroughly Clean Your Boat Inside and OutsideThis may seem like a no-brainer but this simple task is often disregarded. Most people do a pretty great job cleaning the outside of the boat after taking it into the water and back into storage. By a good job I mean most people wash the topside, bottom, and deck with a coat of wax. However, people typically forget about the inside of the boat. I’m talking about the propellers, engine and other important components such as the fiberglass in fiberglass boats. Additionally, don’t forget to clean the widescreens as well as well as spray hoods. Once you completed your boat cleaning, it’s important to make sure your boat is one hundred percent dry before storing it. A boat that’s been properly cleaned will help keep dirt and corrosion from occurring.
2.) Flush the Cooling SystemThoroughly flush the engine with fresh water to remove any excess salt, dirt, and corrosion. This specifically rings true for both inboard and outboard boats with raw water cooling systems. Depending on the climate you’re currently living in, you should invest in anti-freeze. If so, you can run anti-freeze into the cooling system by attaching a pickup hose from a container of anti-freeze to the motor’s water pump.
3.) Double Check the Little ThingsOne of the most overlooked tasks are the little things, the small components that we often pay little to no attention to. I’m talking about the nuts and bolts of the boat. Though they may be small they are critical components of the overall health of your boat. On sterndrive boats, for example, make sure to apply marine grease to the fittings on the gimbal bearing and engine coupler. Now go around your entire boat and lightly apply moisture displacing lubricant to the myriad moving metal parts onboard such as hinges, latches, push-pull switches, ratchet mounts, bow rollers, and linkages. For boats on trailers, this is the ideal time to grease the trailer wheel bearings using quality grease. If you haven’t done it yet, definitely mark this as a must-do. Additionally, if you haven’t already, pull and inspect the wheel bearings for wear and water intrusion and replace if necessary. Last little things to double check are the propeller. Remove the propeller to inspect for fishing line and shaft seal damage, then coat the propeller shaft with quality water resistant grease.
4.) Perform a Health Check-Up on Your BoatEnsure your boat is in tip-top shape by performing a thorough inspection. Every end-of-season winter storage checklist should include a routine health check-up. This includes changing the engine oil and the oil filter on the stern drive, both inbound and outboard engines. This could easily be done after the engine is slightly warmed up to help flush out sediment and impurities with the discarded oil. Once completed, you’ll then move on to refilling the engine with the appropriate oil based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Moving along we’ll be draining and refilling your boat’s outdrive gear case or outboard lower unit. The reason behind his simple task is to prevent any water or impurities from freezing in cold water and causing damage to the insides of your boat. When draining, be on the lookout for water intrusion which usually causes the gear oil to look milky and discolored. If moisture is present, this is a clear indication that there’s a leaking seal that needs to be inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
5.) Cover Your BoatThe best protection option for your boat is to store your boat in an enclosed, climate-controlled facility. Now that’s top of the line protection for your boat. However, these options are best utilized depending on the kind of climate you’re in. If for example, live in a cold windy state with snowfall, and then an enclosed storage may be a better option than an outdoor storage. With that said, there are other options available to help protect your boat such as a good cover which will be the first line of defense against the elements. Now there is one thing to note if you plan on going with an outdoor storage unit and that’s to prop up the cover to prevent water from pooling in low spots. You may also want to park your boat under a good protective canopy to minimize the exposure to the elements.
These helpful tips will prepare your boat for the upcoming winter. If you’re planning on storing your boat at a storage facility, it’s important to think about whether or not the storage facility can provide the necessary protection for your boat. Here at Agua Dulce Storage, we specialize in boat storage and we also understand the necessary measures needed for secure boat storage. Agua Dulce Storage is one of the best boat storages in Agua Dulce, California. To learn more about our storage facility, please check out our website at https://aguadulcestorage.com/ today!