Sadly, boating season will come to an end soon, and Old Man Winter will be paving the way for snowmobiles. Winter storage for boats takes some careful planning. If you follow a checklist, winterizing your boat can be easy, ensuring your boat will be in great shape come spring.
For safe winter storage for your boat, follow our checklist:
Inspect for damage.
- Thoroughly inspect the boat for any damage. Repair now, if possible.
- Check electrical systems and appliances to make sure they are functioning properly (make repairs before storing the boat, if possible).
- Check the battery to make sure it is fully charged before storing.
Prep the fuel system.
- Fill the fuel tank but leave enough room for expansion.
- Treat the fuel with a stabilizer, then run the engine for 10 minutes to get it circulating throughout the engine.
- Seal the fuel valves.
Winterize the engine.
- Change the oil and replace filters.
- Flush the engine with fresh water, then let it drain.
- Wash the engine with soap and water. Rinse thoroughly.
- Fog the engine cylinders with an aerosol fogging solution.
- Lubricate the engine’s grease fittings.
Flush the cooling system.
- Drain any remaining coolant.
- Run a less toxic propylene glycol antifreeze through the system.
Clean inside and out.
- Clean the boat inside and out, removing any plant life or barnacles.
- Remove any valuables from inside the boat.
- Take out any food or drinks.
- Bring home any cushions and store them in a cool, dry place.
Store your boat.
- Remove the battery and store it in a safe, dry spot.
- Consider purchasing a dehumidifier for the storage area to help prevent mildew.
- Lock your boat (and leave a key with the marina manager, if applicable).
- Cover and store your boat.
- Check your boat periodically or have the marina check it and report to you.