It has been said that the day you buy a boat and the day you sell it are the two happiest days of your life. Somewhere in-between, however, you will need to prepare your pricey investment for storage in the colder months. Unless you are blessed with a McMansion size garage, or have incredibly tolerant neighbours who won’t be bothered by a boat parked on your lawn all winter, you can make use of self-storage. This is a quick, easy and affordable solution.
Steps to successfully store your boat:
- Make one last trip on your boat before taking it out of the water. Use this opportunity to list everything that requires fixing to have it ready for next summer.
- Remove as much gear from your boat as possible and store separately.
- Ensure your boat is properly supported when out of the water, whether you use a trailer, jack stands, blocks or a custom cradle.
- Remove the drain plug immediately and give your boat a thorough scrubbing, not forgetting to clean the anchor.
- Clean the sails (if you have any) and have any repairs done before storage.
- Air out your boat and add some moisture absorbers to keep it dry.
- Have the engine(s) checked and serviced if required.
- Do not leave the fuel tank empty. Fill to ¾ capacity (to allow for expansion in spring) and add a fuel stabiliser (to reduce the possibility of condensation).
- Flush the head with plenty of fresh water and pump out your holding tank.
- Cover exhausts and other holes to keep unwanted critters coming onto your boat.
- Discuss your storage options with the friendly staff at your local self-storage facility. Depending on your budget, there will be outside spaces, covered or enclosed storage to choose from. A good storage facility will offer good/better/best options to make the choice easier for you and also be able to advise you on covering your boat for storage.
Now you have done all the hard work BEFORE storing your boat for winter. Come spring, you will be the first one out enjoying the water, while many others will have to deal with not taking proper steps before winter! Happy boating!!