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Boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities. There are several water-based activities you can do over summer and spring on your boat. However, when winter kicks in, it may be time to store the boat safely. In some areas, the winter season doesn’t hit sub-zero levels; however, if your area freezes during winter, it’s best to pull the boat out of the water. Here are a few steps you can follow to prepare your boat for winter storage.
Rinse and Flush
Regardless of the locations, it’s advisable to start by rinsing the outside of the boat and trailer thoroughly. This way, you are able to get rid of dirt, debris, and excess salt for those who use their boats on salty waters. When rinsing the trailer, pay extra attention to the wheel hubs, brakes, and leaf springs – these areas are constantly exposed to the water when launching the boat. The next thing is to flush the engine’s cooling system using fresh, clean water. This way, you can mitigate corrosion or overheating when you launch the boat in spring. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines when flushing the engine cooling system.
The next step is to refill your fuel tank with fresh fuel, adding a fuel stabilizer. This way, you are able to minimize condensation in the fuel tank as well as prevent the fuel from going stale during storage.
Ensuring your batteries are in pristine condition during winter helps to give you a good start at the opening of the boating season. Most people leave their batteries in when storing the boat for winter – which is a mistake. Remove the batteries from the boat and find a suitable place to store them, preferably in your garage. For this, you will need a battery charger. This way, you are able to give the batteries a good initial charger. When choosing a charger for the battery, be sure to match the charger to the type of battery.
On the other hand, you can keep the batteries in the boat and connect them to a solar trickle charger. This way, you will keep them charged without the hassle of moving them around.
Clean and Dry
Before getting down to washing, it’s best to remove any loose items, including electronics, tackle boxes, and lifejackets. You can either choose to go professional or do this on your own. Get a hull cleaner and wear the necessary PPEs and get to it. Be careful not to damage the galvanized coating on the hull. After that, use soap and water to thoroughly wash the surfaces, both inside and outside. When you are done, thoroughly rinse and dry every inch of the boat.
Once the boat is completely dry, both outside and inside, it’s time to cover it. Covering the bat help to protect it from UV radiation, dust, and other pollutants. There are several bat and outboard covers to choose from; however, you need to have the right measurements to ensure the boat is entirely covered. Make sure the cover is as tight as possible.
The last step is to make sure the boat is secure before storage. You can choose to use a facility, your backyard, or your garage as these are the ideal locations with lower security risks.