Nothing beats taking the boat out for the day.
Whether you’re an avid fisherman or you just like to drink your beers off-land, there’s nothing like being on the water during the warmer months.
But when winter rolls around, you’ll need to think about storing your boat while you’re in hibernation. Because a little neglect can go a long way to upset your valuable vessel’s engine.
Keep your boat in top nick until next summer with these boat storage ideas.
Preparing for Winter Boat Storage
Before you lock it up until summer, there are a few steps to take to winterise your boat and ensure it’s ready to go again when you are.
If you know how to store a boat properly, you’ll know it takes some TLC and routine maintenance to prepare for winter boat storage.
Psst. You should follow these steps for storing your boat any time of year (not just winter).
Clean Inside and Out
Besides the obvious steps of removing any smelly fishing gear, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the inside and outside of your boat to reduce the risk of odour, mould growth, and corrosion.
To clean the outside of your boat, you should:
- Rinse off any salt water and debris from top to bottom with clean water. A normal hose is fine, but you get extra points for using a pressure washer.
- Use a boat cleaner and brush to scrub off any stubborn debris and grime with a soft-bristle brush. Rinse with clean water as you go to avoid streaking.
- Buff and wax for that like-new shine we all know and love.
To clean the inside of your boat, you should:
- Remove and clean any cushions and store outside of the boat.
- Scrub hard surfaces with soapy water to remove any dirt and grime.
- Vacuum fabric upholstery and use fabric cleaner for any marks or stains.
- Wipe down vinyl or leather with a clean cloth.
- Spray vinyl or leather with protectant to prevent drying or cracking. You can find special boat upholstery spray at your local boating store.
All boats are different, so be sure to check out your manufacturer’s guide to make sure you’re using the right cleaning products for your vessel.
Take Care of the Mechanics
It’s simple: Well-maintained boats last longer. And if you don’t look after the insides when you’re prepping for winter boat storage, it’ll only cost you time and money in the long-run.
A few must-dos include:
- Change the gear oil to keep the engine water-free
- Remove the battery and store in a dry place
- Lubricate all plugs and bulb sockets
- Use anti-corrosion spray on any unprotected metal parts
- Fill her up with fuel to prevent moisture building in the tank.
Again, every boat is unique, so check your manufacturer’s guide for any other maintenance and storage suggestions.
Check out our Top Tips For Maintaining Your Boat before you next set sail.
How to Store a Boat
Sure, you could leave your boat in the marina over winter. But if you want to protect your boat from damage while not in use, dry boat storage is the ideal way to reduce the risk of corrosion.
Dry boat storage keeps your boat out of the water and out of the weather, protected from water damage as well as the harsh Aussie sun and potential rain and hail.
While your boat was designed for the water, storing your boat in the water long-term can cause serious damage and rot to the exterior and interior.
It’s best to play it safe and store your boat somewhere dry and undercover if you can.
Boat storage ideas and options might include:
- In a rack at your local marina
- On a trailer in your yard or garage
- On a trailer in a storage facility.
Other factors to consider when deciding how to store your boat might include security from potential thieves or vandals, and protection from risk factors such as other vehicles or falling branches.
Boat Storage Facilities
If you’re keen to keep your precious vessel clean and dry until you need it again, undercover dry boat storage from National Storage could be the perfect solution.