It’s been a great summer, but sadly, it’s coming to an end, along with boating season. If you want to enjoy your boat again next spring, it’s essential to understand how to prepare your boat for winter storage before you pack it away. When taken care of and stored safely and correctly, your boat will start up and be ready to go when you are. Read on to get some ideas for preparing your boat for winter storage.
Antifreeze ensures no parts of the engine freeze over the winter. If they do, they could cause components of your boat to corrode as it sits in storage, leading to bigger problems for you to deal with come spring. Before adding the antifreeze, it’s necessary to drain the coolant. Drain it completely, then flush out the system with water to make sure it’s all clear. After that, add the antifreeze according to directions for dilution.
Disconnect the Battery
A battery drains even when it’s sitting unused. Disconnect your boat battery to ensure it will be ready to go when it’s time to hit the lake next year.
It’s a good idea to disconnect and remove the battery completely. You can then charge throughout the colder months to ensure it remains operational.
Change the Oil
It’s possible for water to get into the oil on a boat. Even if you recently changed the oil, it’s best to change it one last time before storage to ensure water doesn’t sit around in your boat all winter.
Add Engine Fogging Oil
Parts of the engine can freeze during winter, and you want to prevent that from happening. To do so, spray engine fogging oil all over the engine, especially in the carburetor and spark plugs. It works best if you start the engine but don’t allow it to completely turn over, then give it a quick spray. Repeat the process, coating everything until you’re satisfied.
Choose Your Storage Facility
Where will you store the boat? Do you have room at home, or do you need a storage facility? Hopefully, by now, you have a storage plan because it can be hard to get into a storage facility at the last minute. If you need to travel to get your boat into storage, make sure you know how to travel safely with a boat. It’s not as easy as just hooking it up to your vehicle. There are steps you must follow to drive a boat and get it safely to storage.
Don’t panic if you don’t know where to store your boat. Ask around and see where others bring their boats. You may need to be willing to put in some miles to get the best storage possible.
Fill the Gas Tank
Why spend the money on gas if you aren’t going to drive your boat all winter? If the tank sits empty or only partly filled, condensation builds up, which leads to corrosion. Fill up the boat’s tank one last time before putting it into storage.
If you prepare your boat for winter storage correctly, you’ll have little to worry about when it’s time to get back out on the water in the spring.