You’ve enjoyed several enjoyable months on the water, but as warm and sunny skies transition to chilly and dreary ones, it’s time to bid farewell to your boat temporarily. Storing your boat during the winter is one of the most effective ways to protect it from the elements and from vandals and thieves. (Securing a comprehensive Boat Insurance policy is the most effective way to protect yourself in case something happens to your expensive, beloved boat in any season.) Here are some tips for securing your boat for its winter hibernation.
Take it for a Final Test Run
Before you store your boat, take it for one final spin and make note of anything that needs repaired or replaced. Winter is a great time to make repairs and perform maintenance, so your boat will be ready to go when spring rolls around.
Clean it Thoroughly
You don’t want your boat to be dirty when you store it, otherwise grime, salt, and contaminants can damage it during the off season. Scrub all surfaces, drain water from seacocks, clean strainers, empty refrigerators lockers, and remove anything that could mildew or spoil. Vacuum the interior, wipe down all surfaces, and place mildew-control products throughout the cabin. Make sure all surfaces are completely dry before you put your boat in storage. Leave thru-hulls and lockers open for storage.
Store your boat with a full tank of gas that has been treated with a gas stabilizer that will prevent condensation, according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States. Before storing, turn on the engine for about 20 minutes so the additives in the stabilizer can circulate through the fuel lines and engine and form a protective barrier. If you’re new to boating and boat storage, it’s best to have a qualified boat mechanic winterize your boat’s engine and fuel system before storage.
Remove the Battery
Don’t store your battery in the boat where it can corrode. Remove it and keep it in dry, warm place until you’re ready to take your boat out of storage.
Be diligent and detailed about storing your boat for the winter, so you can reap the benefits in the spring. Don’t let your boating insurance lapse during winter. Even when your boat is in storage it’s subject to risks related to weather, fire, vandals, etc. Need boat insurance? Contact us at Mariners General Insurance Group – we’re marine insurance specialists.