Boat Storage and Maintenance Tips for New Boat Owners

Your boat may be one of your most precious assets, and you’ll want to stay on top of keeping it in the best shape possible for years to come. First time boaters in Michigan should take note of some important steps and regulations that they need to do before taking their boat out.

Here are some examples of the types of things you should be doing to make sure your boat is ready for a fantastic summer (or year) on the shores of beautiful Lake Erie.

Choose an Optimal Storage Facility  

There are different ways of storing your boat, with indoor storage being the ideal for winter. Many Michigan marinas offer this as a part of their services. You’ll also want to be sure that it is secure and safe if you’re leaving it for a long period of time. Check to make sure that your marina has the space to fit a boat of your size if you’re looking to put it indoors over the winter.

You’ll also want to budget a little more for indoor storage as it can be more expensive.

Registration and Insurance

For $150 you can get your boat registered at the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). You’ll also need to make sure you take a boating safety test to get a license, which typically costs around $30. Insurance should be purchased on a longer-term basis to avoid hassles, and you should check in about the policy even if your boat is stored.

Basic Maintenance

Just like in a car, you’ll want to make sure the oil is up to date if you have an inboard or sterndrive boat. Do this about every 100 hours that you use the boat, or once a year before you put it in storage. Ask the staff at your marina to help if you’ve never done this before.

Checking the propeller regularly is another simple and important maintenance step that you should do each time you take the boat out on the water. You can check for signs of impact to make sure that it will work properly. Even a small nick can end up using extra fuel or put too much strain on other parts, causing them to break down.

It’s a great idea to set up an annual maintenance schedule which includes a specific routine for pre-storage, specifically if you are planning for longer term indoor boat storage into the coming year.

If you’re still looking for more details about indoor or outdoor boat storage options, don’t hesitate to talk to experts at a local Michigan marina.


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