The cold winter months have passed and it’s time to get your boat out on the water. But where did you keep your boat when you were shoveling your driveway of snow and not cruising around the lake? Budget, convenience and availability are key components in determining what you will do with the boat when its not in the water. Storing your boat on a trailer in your driveway is probably the cheapest and storing it at the marina is the most effective, but self storage might be the easiest and safest in order to protect the boat from damage in the long run. Proper storage will ensure your boat looks its best, lasts longer and is protected throughout all seasons of the year.
Not only is boat self storage a great choice for placing your boat in the winter months, there are also several other reasons to consider storing your boat.
- City ordinances – Does your city prohibit the storage of boats on driveways as many cities do?
- Marina storage rates – How much does it cost to store your boat at the marina over the winter? Be sure to compare the costs as storing at the marina may be more convenient but also much more expensive. A storage facility may even be closer to your home than a marina which means you can check on your boat to make sure everything is safe and secure.
- Security – Compare the security features at self storage facilities compared to your driveway or a marina. Self storage facilities typically have gate access, 24 hour surveillance, on-site managers and door alarms. You will also be able to choose your own storage lock for even more piece of mind.
- Climate – What is the temperature where your boat will be stored? Extreme cold can warp and crack the fiberglass and boat. Indoor climate controlled storage might be the best option for a situation like this.
Now that we’ve answered these questions, it’s time to get your boat to the storage facility and store it for the winter months. There are 2 options when storing your boat for the winter – indoor and outdoor storage facilities. Compare which is best for you:
Option 1 – A climate controlled storage unit may be the best way to guarantee your boat is protected from the outdoor elements. The climate controlled unit will reduce the chance of damage to your boat as well as ensure the boat is not exposed to rain, wind, cold or snow. The units also control temperature and humidity which will prevent freezing and excess moisture on your boat. These units are usually more expensive than outdoor units.
Option 2 – Outdoor storage is also an option for people in less harsh winter climates. The cost is typically lower than a climate controlled unit but your boat is exposed to the elements. Make sure you keep your boat off of the ground and out of the water. Shrink wrapping your boat is also a great way to protect the exterior of the boat from rain, snow, wind and UV rays.
Let’s move on to some helpful tips for storing your boat at a self storage facility. These tips will help keep your boat safe and clean until it’s time to get it back on the water.
- Change the oil and filter to prevent dirty oil from sitting in your boat all winter.
- Drain the engine cooling system. You can refill the system with antifreeze and water, as recommended by the manufacturer or simply flush the system with clean water. Be sure to drain the system completely though.
- Drain the gas from the gas tank and refill the tank with a fuel stabilizer. The stabilizer will help stop condensation from forming in the fuel tank and lines. Be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions!
- Disconnect the battery, remove the spark plugs and spray the cylinders with anti-corrosion liquid. You want your batter stored in a dry, temperate room.
- Charge the battery
- Remove the holding tank for restroom waste or pump it as dry as possible. Spray a deodorizing solution to keep the tank smelling fresh
- Remove all of your personal items so they don’t begin to grow mold or mildew
- Open all hatches in the boat so air can freely flow through them. This will reduce mildew, mold and smell
- Place the motor in a downward, running position and make sure to cover it. Do not use plastic to cover the motor as it will trap moisture.
We are confident if you follow these boat storage tips your boat will be safe and secure until you are ready to cruise the waves again!
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