It’s sad, but true. You can’t always enjoy your boat. Yet, you can store your boat properly and securely so it’s ready for action when you are.
Boats are fun big toys, but as a boat owner you probably already know that they can also be work! However, I like to think of boat maintenance as a labor of love. And properly preparing your boat for storage is just as important as those regular boat maintenance tasks you’d never skip. So, let’s get started!
Before You Haul Your Boat out of the Water
- Buy a good quality boat cover. Another option is to use marine shrink wrap to cover your boat after it’s been cleaned and winterized.
- Select hull support, such as a custom cradle, trailer, jack stands or blocks. Hull support is important for protecting your boat’s engine, keel and bulkheads.
- Rent a secure outdoor self storage space. Unless you have extra garage space you’re willing to give up, you’ll need to rent an outdoor storage space. Many neighborhood associations don’t allow outdoor boat storage in residential areas.
- Take your boat out for a final trip, and perform a complete inspection for damage. Replace or repair parts as needed. It’s particularly important to fix hull cracks, which can worsen during storage.
Haul Your Boat out of the Water, and Get to Work
- Consult with your boat manufacturer’s website, or your operating manual for tips on avoiding boat damage during haul-out. This is an important step, as an improper haul-out could void your boat warranty. When you’re ready, haul your boat out of the water.
- Attend to plugs and strainers. After you’ve hauled out your boat, immediately remove the bilge drain plug. Clean out the strainers and thru-hulls, and open up the seacocks to drain water. Plan ahead so that your boat has plenty of time to dry out before you store it.
- Clean, clean, clean! Scrub away the slime and barnacles. Don’t forget to clean the interior as well, emptying the refrigerator and removing any other food stored in the boat. Place mildew odor control bags in your cabin.
- Now you’re ready to winterize your boat! After you’ve performed the necessary steps to winterize your boat, cover it, and store on supports in your chosen secure outdoor boat storage space.
Now it’s time to rest after all that hard work. And maybe do a bit of dreaming about your next boat trip!
What time of year do you put your boat in storage? Do you store your boat at home, or in self storage?