So the boating season has come to end and now it's time to put your boat into storage. Simply placing the boat in storage without doing any preparation, however, might result in damage to the vessel. This article provides some key storage preparation tips that will ensure your boat stays in good shape until you're ready to take it out on the water again.
Remove as much gear and miscellaneous items from the boat as possible. This includes items like pots, pans, dishes and cups, as well as life jackets and towels. Do not forget to take any food out of the boat as well as anything else that might spoil. Also, make certain that you remove the fire extinguishers. These should be inspected by a professional before you return them to the boat when it comes out of storage. Remove and clean any batteries as well.
Once you have the boat hauled out of the water, it's time to give it a good scrubbing. Scrub the hulls and the decks thoroughly to make sure that all of the dirt and grime that has collected on the boat is eliminated. You want to scrub off any barnacles that have attached themselves to the hull also. After the scrubbing is complete, it's a good idea to place mildew control bags throughout the interior of the ship. This will prevent any nasty mildew smells from greeting you when you're ready to use the vessel again.
The engine should be properly prepared to withstand a lengthy period of disuse. Change the engine oil and install new filters. Inspect all of the belts and hoses on the engine and replace any that are in bad shape or have it done by a mechanic. Fill up the tank with gas and add a gas stabilizer. Run the engine for about 15 minutes to ensure that the stabilizer reaches all of the gas in the system. Flush the coolant system and add anti-freeze.
Head and Tanks
Flush the toilet with fresh water and pump out the holding tank. Empty the fresh water tanks also. Place some nontoxic antifreeze in the fresh water tank and let it run through the boat's plumbing lines.
Now that you know how to prepare your boat for storage, you need to decide on the best storage. You might try storing in your garage, but that would not leave any room for your vehicles. A better idea is to rent a unit at a local storage facility.