Once again another summer has gone by and autumn is on its way. Many boat-owning folk will now be organizing their boat storage for the winter and no time is better than the present to get your boat ready for going into storage.
Unfortunately many less experienced boat owners often come a cropper when it comes to storing their boat away safely for the winter because they are not thorough enough when it comes to properly preparing their boat.
Here are a few tips and tricks that, if followed, will ensure you don’t come a cropper:
1. Prepping the gas tank and oil
Before you ever put your boat away for a long period of time, such as winter, you should always make sure the gas tank is topped off. You should also make sure you have changed the oil before settling the boat down for its winter rest.
2. Removal of electrics
You need to make sure all electronic devices, such as GPS and batteries are removed from your boat before it goes into storage. Not simply because these things can be damaged if left exposed to the elements but also because they make your boat more attractive to vandals and thieves.
3. Repair, repair, repair
Although you may not feel like spending money or time repairing small cracks and dinks in your boat just before you put it in storage, it is really important you do invest the time and money to do so. If left as they are, these cracks and dinks can become larger over the time the boat is left unused and you’ll only end up having to spend more time and money when you want to take your boat out again.
4. Give it a good, through clean
Some people are better than others are cleaning but if there is one time you want to excel at cleaning, it is just before you put your boat away for the winter. If you don’t do a good job, you will be faced with a dirty, moldy boat when you take it out again after winter is over. Plus, it’s always nicer to be faced with a sparkling, gleaming boat after missing it throughout the long winter months.
5. Prepare for the worst
This point sounds worse than it actually is. What is meant here is you should take everything valuable (both monetary and personal) off the boat (that you can). You should take photos of everything inside and then as much of the external area of the boat as you can. Removing your items will deter thieves and vandals, whilst taking pictures of everything will make sure that if anything does happen over the winter, which you need to report to the police or your insurance company, you have proof of what it looked like before it went into storage.
6. Invest in a good cover
Finally, and perhaps one of the most important points, you need to have an extremely good boat covering. It doesn’t matter if your boat is going to be stored inside or outside; a good covering is an absolute must have. Make sure you buy one that is properly fitted to your boat, otherwise you’ll find animals, insects and moisture will get inside. Your covering should also be waterproof, but breathable, as there needs to be a good amount of air circulation.
James writes for Wickens. When not writing about Wickens heavy duty racking, he can often be found deciding whether or not to buy yet another boat.