Summer just began and we’re in the heart of boating season. Before you know it, though, summer will be over and you’ll want to have your boat prepared to keep in a safe place. It’s important to keep your boat in good condition all throughout the year—not just when you’re using it. There are a few important things to remember to do before you store your boat during the off-season.
Boat Storage Prep
If you follow these tips, your boat—or any water craft you own—will be ready to go for many season to come. Let’s run through the checklist:
- Take your boat out for one last ride. Chances are you’re going to want to do this anyway because you won’t want the season to end. On this trip out, though, make sure to pay attention to how your boat is riding. Make sure everything sounds good and you don’t notice anything funny going on. Letting issues sit over the winter will only make them worse.
- Clean your boat well. Your boat needs to be cleaned inside and out. This includes drain plugs and the engine all the way to the refrigerator or bathroom if you have one. Cleaning the important mechanics will keep your boat running well and is one of the most important parts to clean. You’ll want you boat to look nice as well, so clean off all the slime and dirt that is stuck on the exterior from the dirty river or lake. For your enjoyment on the first ride out of the season, clean the interior and make sure not to miss anything that can spoil in your refrigerator or onboard coolers. You’re going to be eager to take your boat out during the next season so get everything cleaned now so there’s no snags in your plan.
- Get your boat dry. You’ll want to make sure your boat is completely dry. Raise the bow and make sure all the water drains away from the boat. After you drain and dry your boat, you can also prevent mildew with cover bags on the interior. No one wants to come back to a smelly and mildew covered boat.
- Check all the fluids. You should check and change all the important fluids in your boat so you don’t come back to one that won’t start. Make sure to change out all the fluid or make sure it is at the correct level. Never drain the fluids from your vessel before you store it because this can create condensation and corrode your pipes. This includes topping off your gas tank so that it’s full, changing the oil, and checking the antifreeze.
- Keep your boat maintained over the winter. You should loosen or even remove your drive belts so they don’t crack under the extreme weather conditions during the winter. Lastly, you should grease all your controls up so you don’t come back to a boat you can’t steer because it hasn’t been moved all winter.
- Wax and cover your boat. It’s important to wax your boat before you store it to make sure rust or corrosion doesn’t occur. As an added bonus, your family and friends will be impressed on that first ride out when you take it right out of storage looking ready to go.
- Keep your boat in a safe space. You don’t want all the work you just did to go to waste. Keep your boat in a safe place so that weather or other people can’t get into it.
If you follow all these steps, your boat will be ready to go next season. If you need a safe place to store your boat, Store It America has spaces that you can reserve early so you aren’t scrambling to find a spot. Contact us to get your spot reserved so you can enjoy the rest of the season with one less thing to worry about!