Before you put your boat into storage for the winter, you want to be sure you prepare it for long-term storage. How you prepare your boat before you lock it up or dock it will affect how ready it will be in the Spring, and can also ensure your boat stays in good repair. Consider some important tips for winterizing your boat every year.
1. Take it out for one last trip
One thing to do before storing your boat is to take it out for one last trip, but use this time to give it a good inspection. Note if there are dents and dings in the body of the boat that should be bumped out, or if it needs a good cleaning inside.
Remember that if you ignore these minor fixes before putting your boat away, you might allow rust to form and may allow mold and mildew to build up in carpeting and other areas of the boat. Make a list of these minor fixes and have them done before putting your boat away.
2. Prepare the engine
Be sure to top off the engine as a half-empty tank can lead to rust. Change the oil and replace the filters. Note if the coolant levels need topping off and if there are any loose belts and hoses. Tighten all clamps and connectors. Your engine may have strainers, and be sure you clean these.
Maintaining your engine this way will keep it from forming rust and from allowing sediment caught in the filters to make its way back into the fuel and oil lines. This will keep it in good repair during winter.
3. Prepare the plumbing
If your boat has plumbing features onboard, you want to prepare these for winter storage. Flush the toilet several times with fresh water to ensure the tanks and lines are clean. Antifreeze should be run through the intake lines, not the bowl, to keep it clean and to keep the water from freezing during winter storage.
Drain your water tanks and hot water heater. Run the antifreeze through the ice maker, air conditioning pumps, sump pumps, bilge pumps, and any fish wells you may have.
4. Cover it properly
Even if you store your boat indoors during the wintertime, you should still cover it properly. This needs to include covering any openings so no critters can crawl into tanks or the engine. Provide structural support under boat covers and tarps. This will ensure they will not come loose and your boat is protected through the winter months.
Hopefully these tips will help you ensure that your boat is safe to use after Winter is finally over. For more tips, talk to boat storage providers such as Budget Storage and Removals.