Too Cold For The Water? 3 Steps To Get Your Boat Ready For Winter Storage

Unless you live in one of the southern states where the weather is mild all year long, you probably don't use your boat during the winter. If that's the case, storage is the best way to protect your boat from the harsh weather. If you've never put your boat into storage before, you might not be familiar with the procedures required for safe storage. Before you place your boat in storage, here are three steps you should take to keep it safe during the winter shutdown.

Start with the Interior

Now that you're getting your boat ready for storage, the first thing you need to do is clean the interior. A dirty interior can lead to a variety of problems including pest infestations, rust, mold, and dry rot. Begin by removing all the garbage that might have collected during the fishing season. You should also pack up any leftover food that you might still have in your cabinets or refrigerator. The next thing you should do is clean all the surfaces with a mild detergent. Be sure to clean your leather, metal, and wood surfaces. Once you've cleaned everything from top-to-bottom, apply a good protective coating to your leather, metal, and wood surfaces.

Clean the Bilge

Once you've cleaned the interior of your boat, it will be time to head to the bilge. During use, water that hasn't drained over the edge of the deck might have collected in the bilge. This water will need to be removed before you can safely store your boat away for the winter. Use a sump pump to remove the standing water. Fill a bucket with water and add about ¼ cup of detergent. Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the bilge. Rinse with clear water and dry the area thoroughly. Finally, apply a layer of lubricant to the bilge for protection.

Prep the Motor

Before you can place your boat in winter storage, you'll need to prep the motor. Begin by flushing it with water and allowing it to drain. Disconnect the fuel line and drain any fuel that might be in the lines. To ensure that the fuel lines are empty, turn the motor on and allow it to run until the fuel is gone. Wash the engine with a mild detergent and rinse well. Dry well to remove all moisture.

Now that winter is here, it's time to put your boat away until spring. Use the tips provided here to get your boat ready for storage.