If you want your boat to be in great condition and ready to use when you pull it out of storage, you need to prepare it for storage properly. Wondering what you need to do before storing your boat for the off season? Take a look at these tips.
1. Clean Thoroughly
Before storing your boat, take time to thoroughly clean the exterior. Rinse off salty residue so that it doesn't eat the paint or varnish while you're not using your boat. Also, scrub off dirt or oils so they don't cause damage either. When your boat is clean, you may want to add a coat of wax to the bottom, deck, and topsides. This coat locks in moisture and creates a protective coating against dust and debris.
Once you're done cleaning the outside of the boat, it's time to take a keen eye to your boat’s interior. Start with lockers, drawers, live wells, and fish storage areas. These spaces are notorious for holding moisture, and if you want to avoid mold or mildew, you need to dry these locations thoroughly.
Remove your boat’s contents, clean and dry the interior spaces, and then replace everything. Also, make sure that, if present, the carpet in your boat is clean and dry, wipe off your seats, and finally check the areas beneath your cushions for moisture or debris.
2. Remove and Condition Canvases
If your boat has sails, a bimini top, a spray hood, or similar accessories made of canvas, you should remove the canvas before you store your vessel. Then roll the canvas out and let it dry completely. To finish, apply oils or fabric conditioners to your canvas as recommended by the manufacturer, roll your canvas back up, and stow it near your boat.
3. Check for Damage
As you prepare your boat for storage, look over the exterior and interior of your boat for damage and address whatever issues you can find. This attention helps to stop small problems from spreading. For example, if you see blistering on the fiberglass, you may want to break the blister, sandpaper the area, and then apply epoxy. This is a pretty quick fix, and it prevents the blister from growing and bubbling even more while in storage.
4. Flush Cooling System
You should flush the fluids out of the cooling system and replace them with fresh fluids before storing your boat. Depending on how long you plan to plan to put the boat in storage, you may want to add stabilizer as well. Many people add extra antifreeze to their cooling systems when putting boats away for the winter, but as the temperature doesn't dip below freezing very often in the Greater Salinas area, you only need to add the usual amount of antifreeze in most cases.
In addition to flushing the cooling system, change your engine oil. When you release the old oil, this action helps you get rid of impurities in your engine system. Remember to add new oil though—you want to ensure the engine stays lubricated while in storage.
5. Disable the Battery
Unfortunately, if you are not using your boat on a regular basis, the battery can lose energy. To protect the battery, consider disconnecting it. If you do that, make sure to wipe off the battery cable ends. You can also add extra protection to your marine battery by adding a bit of Vaseline to the cables and the terminals.
Finally, use a shelf so that your boat battery isn't sitting on the ground. If you plan to store your boat for more than a month, you may want to bring the battery up to full charge every 30 days. This helps to ensure your battery keeps working.
Once you're boat is prepared, it's time to put it in storage. For the best results, you’ll want covered storage or a climate-controlled storage garage. At Blanco Self Storage, we offer storage for boats, RVs, and much more. Contact us today for details.