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Preparing Your Boat For Winter Storage

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Take care of your boat before putting her into winter storage, and vastly improve the chances that your vessel will be in great shape come springtime. In the interest of happy boating for all, we are pleased to present a few timely tips about winter boat storage.

Before you begin winterizing your vessel, make a checklist and keep it handy. Refer to your owner’s manual for manufacturer’s winterizing recommendations. If you have never before prepped a boat for winter storage, enlist the help of a more experienced friend.

 If you plan to store your boat out of the water, add these tasks to your checklist:

  • Pressure wash the hull
  • Clean barnacles off props, shafts, and rudders
  • Remove barnacles from struts and trim tabs
  • Thoroughly clean all strainers and thru-hulls
  • Open seacocks and allow to drain
  • Check a fiberglass hull for blisters before applying a good coat of wax
  • Wash topsides and apply a thick coat of wax to decks
  • Remove and clean all canvas and store in a dry place until re-launch
  • Make sure batteries have a full charge before turning off all switches

Change the oil before winter storage and plan to change it again when boating weather returns. Drain the out-drive gear case and watch for signs of discoloration. If oil appears milky, check the engine for leaking seals before refilling with winter grade engine oil.

Fuel treatment and lubrication

First, prepare your fuel system for storage. Add a product such as Pennzoil Fuel Stabilizer to the tank, then run the engine for at least ten minutes to ensure complete circulation of the stabilized fuel. This will prevent stuff like varnish from clogging carburetors and fuel injectors during a season of storage, as advised by Boating magazine.

Apply marine grease to gimbal fittings, steering tilt tubes, and other small albeit crucial engine mechanisms. A light application of moisture-displacing lube will protect latches, hinges, linkages, and push-pull switches as your boat awaits your return.

Dry dock is also the perfect place to refit your boat with quality marine flooring, making clean-up, storage and retrieval even faster! Tell us more about your boat project, and we’ll assist you with finding the ideal replacement.

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