Preparing for the End of Summer: Boat Storage
If you live in the northern part of the country where there isn’t really the opportunity for year-round boating, you know you have to prepare your boat for storage at the end of summer.
The first thing you’ll need to do is start researching indoor storage facilities. You’ll want to make arrangements early on to ensure there is room for your boat. In your research, you’ll want to find a place that’s convenient in terms of location and has easy access to the water.
The next thing you’ll want to do is have your boat’s fluids checked by a service professional. That means checking the cooling system, fuel, and fresh water lines. It’s not dissimilar to getting a pre-winter check up on a house or a car.
Repair and Store
This is the time to start repairing some of the little stuff, which can get worse in extreme weather. That means fixing things like cracks and dents and dings. Cracks can get worse when left untreated. You’ll also need to take your boat’s battery out and store it somewhere else. Marine batteries will freeze and crack if left out in winter.
Some storage facilities require up-to-date paperwork, such as insurance and the boat’s license. Before the end of the season, make sure all renewals are in place to hold you over until the next season.
After you’re done using the boat for the season, it’s time to do some seasonal cleaning. One thing you’ll want to do is wash and wax your chariot. This will give you the opportunity to look for any cracks and make sure you can catch little problems before they get bigger. Potentially damp items should be removed, such as the cushions. When left, they could mildew, which can also cause odors and require replacements. Clean the floors and carpet and use special protectants on the vinyl—there are some made specifically for aquatic vessels. Lastly, make sure the lower compartments are clean—oil can build up.
Like with cars, regular maintenance will increase the lifespan of your boat. For one, you need to make sure that while your boat is in storage, the hull is well supported. Make sure you test the electronic components to make sure everything is in working order, and if there’s something amiss, go ahead and fix it—it’s one less thing to take care of at the beginning of the season.
Don’t wait until the last minute to arrange for storing your boat indoors after your summer on Lake Erie. Start making your preparations early and you’ll have less to do at the end of the summer, not to mention you won’t have to scramble to find a storage service.