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How to Winterize and Store a Boat

It's your first time being the proud owner of a boat. You've had a wonderful season out on the water, fishing, cruising, and finding the best places to swim. The time has come to take the boat out of the water for the winter. You can't simply put it up on a boat trailer and park it. Take the following steps to winterize your boat, store it, and keep it in tip-top shape for the next season. Giving your boat extra attention now will save you unwanted expenses later.

Once you've pulled the boat out of the water, take a look at your owner's manual for important steps in winterization. If you don't have a manual, the Internet is a wonderful thing and can probably give you free access to the information you need. You'll want to give your motor attention, running it, flushing it with water, changing the oil and spark plugs, and circulating antifreeze through the engine as well when it comes to inboard engines. An outboard engine should be flushed with water, washed down with soap and water, followed by a complete rinse. Your fuel tanks should be full and have a stabilizer added as well. Your battery should actually be disconnected, cleaned up, and stored in a place that is cool and dry.

Go through the interior of your boat and clean it out, giving everything a wipe down and allowing your cushions to air out. Address the exterior by washing and waxing the boat before it is time to store it. The best way to store a boat is inside a building that is heated, away from the elements. However, if you do not have this option, you can shrink wrap your boat to protect it during the winter months. If that is still too much of an expense, purchase tarps at your local, home improvement store. Be sure to strap them down securely, using more than one to ensure the interior of your boat is completely covered. All of your efforts will pay off when your boat is ready to go in the spring.