Tips for Prepping your Boat for Storage

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Clean the Hull and Deck
You’ll probably be storing your boat for an entire season, so you’ll want it clean and free of last summer’s trash when you are ready to put it in the water next spring. Start by scrubbing the hull and repairing any dings or scratches. Wash down the deck, topsides, and all other exterior surfaces. Clean cabinets, coolers, and drawers and sanitize any food prep areas. Don’t forget to check under cushions and in corners. Cover the body of your boat with wax. This will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s body and is particularly important if you are storing your boat outside.

Add Fuel Stabilizer and Fill the Tank
Condensation can form in an empty gas tank, causing corrosion or worse if the moisture freezes. A fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening, and your fuel will be ready to go when you are.

Change the Oil
Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can corrode the engine. Change the filter and flush it out so that no water remains. Then, add new oil

Refresh the Coolant System
Drain the current coolant, flush with water, and fill with fresh antifreeze. Make sure you’ve diluted the antifreeze to specification.  This will protect your engine from freezing and corrosion.

Disconnect the Battery
Don’t allow your battery to drain over the winter.  Disconnect it and top it off with distilled water.  Charge it periodically to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it back up to your boat.

Grease the Steering Mechanism
Grease the steering and control mechanisms so that they will be moving smoothly when it’s time to take the boat out again.

Remove the Drive Belts
Before storing your boat, loosen or remove the drive belts. They could crack under the stress of being kept under tension for long periods of time.

Maintain the Interior of Your Boat
If you have electronics in your boat, they are vulnerable to extreme cold and moisture, and should be removed prior to storage. Leather, canvas, and any other organic fabrics should be removed to prevent mold and mildew. Empty the water tanks and run antifreeze through the pipes.

Use A Cover
Even if your boat is parked in enclosed storage, a cover will protect your boat from dirt, dust, grime, and moisture.

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