It’s nearing the end of the boating season and it is time to start planning ahead to store your boat for the winter…..
Take One Last Trip
You know how you usually look at all of the beautiful scenery and whatnot while you are driving along? DON’T DO THAT, at least not too much. This time, watch your boat. Keep an eye on things that need fixed, or things you would like to upgrade over the winter. Make yourself a list of those things and schedule out a timeline for your fixes.
Clean Your Boat From Top to Bottom
Clean out your cabinets, drawers, and storage space. Clean any hoses that you can. Clean your bilge pump. Basically clean every thing that you possibly can really well before you put the ‘ole girl away for the winter. Leave any storage compartments open so they can air out for a few hours, and if you have any oily waste, make sure you dispose of it in the proper way(DEFINITELY NOT IN THE WATER).
Fill Up the Gas Tank
Leave a little room for expansion during the spring or any time that it might get a little hotter than expected( we deal with that one all of the time here in the South!). This gives your engine the best likelihood of NOT having any issues when it is time to get it ready next summer.
Clean and Disconnect your Batteries
Clean off your batteries really well. Get rid of any grime, gunk, or erosion and disconnect. Some people will charge them fully before you take your boat to storage and leave them with the boat. Some people will disconnect and take the battery home with them to charge over the winter. Although the latter is probably the best option for the sake of safety and not having to replace them, both options are just fine.
Make Sure Your Boat is Covered From the Elements
If your boat is going to be left outside, make sure you have it well covered. Put plenty of support underneath your cover to prevent from standing water, point the stern down to let any excess snow or rain run off, and make sure you have all of your antifreeze topped off in the appropriate places. Obviously storing indoors or under cover is ideal, but may not be the best option for everyone.