Whether you’re taking your boat out of the water for the cold winter months or storing it long term, proper preparation is essential to avoid unnecessary future maintenance costs. Luckily, there are four basic steps you can follow to ensure that your boat is ready to sail right out of storage.
Wash and Wax your Exterior
Whether your boat lives in freshwater or saltwater, you should always wash it prior to storage to remove any salt or grime that could eat away at the paint. Be sure to also wax and buff the exterior prevent rust corrosion especially if you are storing your boat outside where it will be more exposed to rain and snow.
Top off Your Fluids
Before storing your boat, all fluids should be filled and refreshed. Never store your boat with anything less than a full gas tank, otherwise, air and moisture can get inside and cause damage to your fuel system. You should also add a fuel stabilizer to prevent corroding condensation from forming in your gas tank. Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can also cause corrosion in your engine, so it is important that you always change your oil prior to letting a boat sit. Also, be sure to empty any water tanks, particularly when storing for the winter, and run antifreeze through the pipes.
Disconnect Your Battery and Drive Belts
Batteries left in extreme heat or cold can be easily damaged, so if you’re storing a boat in outdoor or covered storage where it’s still susceptible to external temperatures, remove the battery. You should bring it home with you where you can keep it inside and charged until you take your boat out of self-storage. If you are storing your boat indoors, you still want to disconnect your battery to prevent it from draining and top it off with distilled water so it’s ready to go when you hook it back up. You also want to loosen or remove your drive belts before storage because they may crack under the stress of being kept under tension for a long period of time especially in extreme winter temperatures which can cause the belts to become stiff and more brittle.
Put a Cover on Your Boat
A cover will protect your boat from dirt, dust, grime, and moisture and is a must for outdoor storage. With a quality cover, your boat will be safe from any precipitation or debris that could damage your interior.
Spend a few minutes executing these simple steps prior to putting your boat in self-storage and you can rest easy knowing that you won’t have any unexpected maintenance or repairs and will be ready to immediately set sail next boating season. For boat storage options from Right Move Storage contact us