Summer is drawing to an end, and even though there are still some nice days ahead, it’s time to start thinking about storing your motorboat for winter. Adequately preparing your boat and choosing a proper storage method will help you to continue to enjoy your boat when summer comes back around, while reducing the risk of premature wear and tear of its various parts. It’s also important to store your boat before the first signs of frost to protect its engine from corrosion. Here are the major points to keep in mind during the winterization procedure.
Preparing the boat
Emptying and cleaning your boat is crucial prior to storage. In addition to everything that can be damaged by moisture and/or frost, it is suggested not to leave life jackets inside to prevent mould formation. Remember also to properly clean out the fridge and leave its door slightly open.
If your boat isn’t stored in a heated space, you should also think about using a non-toxic antifreeze for the plumbing pipes, water tanks, the toilet, the septic tank, the water heater, the generator and the air conditioner. For more information about this, don’t hesitate to ask a specialist in this area for guidance. With regard to the outside of the boat, a thorough cleaning of the hull is required to extend the lifetime of the paint.
Preparing the engine
Since each type of engine has its unique features, the winterization procedure isn’t always the same. That’s why it’s crucial to refer to the maintenance manual for your engine if you want to do the work yourself. You can also take your engine to a professional who will make all the required preparations before it’s put in storage. This will give you the assurance that your engine will be navigation-ready again when the nice weather comes back.
Winter storage options
You have three options to properly store your boat for winter: outdoor storage on a trailer, storage in a dry place, or storage at the marina. Storing your boat outdoors on a trailer is by far the most affordable option since it enables you to keep your boat on your property without paying storage fees. To do so, however, you need to have enough space for a trailer. If you have a small boat, you can also choose to store it in a dry place, such as a covered hangar, all winter long. This option is more expensive than storage on your property, but on the plus side, it does protect your boat effectively against bad weather. Finally, if you want your boat to spend winter in a temperate location, or if you want to repair it or renovate it during the cold season, you can choose to store it at the marina. Although this is the most expensive of the three options, it’s by far the most convenient and easiest method. In short, before you choose where you’re going to store your boat, it’s important to properly assess your budget as well as your needs.
And since summer isn’t over yet, until it’s time for you to winterize your boat, don’t hesitate to continue to enjoy all the magnificent waterbodies in our beautiful region. All aboard, friends!