9 boat storage tips that’ll keep it in top condition
The cold season is here. It’s time to put your boat back in storage. Whether you want to keep your yacht away from cold, or you intend to take a break from riding it for some time, proper boat storage is the secret to maximizing its lifespan.
Nonetheless, you must understand how to store your boat securely, without a hitch. Outdoor or indoor boat storage, you must prepare the boat and the storage space to ensure that it is in its prime shape.
Proper preparation prevents both internal and external boat damages and gives you peace of mind knowing that your yacht is in a good place.
Without further ado, here are some insightful tips on how best you can store your boat.
1. Choose the Ideal Storage Option
Before settling with a particular storage choice, be sure to check out the pros and cons of each and go with the one that meets your precise needs. Some of the common boat storage ideas and their benefits and drawbacks include:
A dry-stacked warehouse is most people’s boat storage choice due to its high level of security. You may store the vessel in your warehouse but invest some time in stacking and moving it with lifts. Check out this storage unit facility for more insights into how the warehouses work.
Although warehouses are not easily accessible, they completely protect the boat from harsh external conditions such as wind, rain, snow, and intense UV rays. The security from thieves is also uptight, not to forget that it is a more cost-effective option.
However, the drawback is that besides boat inaccessibility, finding a reliable stacked storage facility in your area can be a challenge.
Indoor self-storage is expensive. You must have the resources to stack it with lifts. Moreover, the storage space might be limited, making it hard for individuals with large boats.
Park Your Boat on a Trailer
You can park your vessel on your property but first, make sure that your homeowners’ association allows it.
This is an outdoor storage option, making it easier for you to access the yacht and work on it at your ideal time. In most cases, you can park it near the water body so that you do not have to drive a long way to pick it up.
However, this storage option is only suitable for individuals with extra space on their property or if you have a small boat. Also, you might not have peace of mind because your boat will still be exposed to outdoor risks such as burglary and harsh elements like snow and strong sun rays.
The upsides are that you do not have to pay any storage fee, and you can access the boat at any time.
Store the Vessel in Your Garage
A garage is the best choice for small boat owners. Not only will you enjoy convenience and accessibility, but also, you will be at peace knowing that your vessel is in secure storage space.
The warmth in the garage protects the boat from freezing, especially during the cold season. The vessel is also sheltered from rain, UV rays, and other external elements.
The cons are difficulties when exiting the garage, and it limits the space for cars and other items.
2. Clear the Boat Storage Space
Ensure that the storage space is safe and free from any elements that could pose threats to the boat.
Repair the boat storage facilities and fill any gaps to keep climbers away.
Eliminate any ladders and ramps that could be used as a possible passage by destructive creatures. Most importantly, get rid of any items that could fall on the boat.
When you think of storage space, you should think of a safe space to keep the boat in its best shape regardless of how long you take away from the boat. That is only possible if the space is free from damaging elements.
3. Thorough Boat Cleaning
Ensuring that your boat is clean before storage is one of the basic rules of vessel maintenance.
Ensure that you clean all the hard surfaces to get rid of residual salts and buildups. Cleaning will help you get rid of stains and prevent mold growth.
Moreover, remove anything that will leave any unpleasant smells from fish and baits. Clean out the fridge and leave the door open for some time. Clean water ski equipment to prevent mold growth. Most importantly, ensure that the interior of the boat is completely dry with no trapped moisture.
Cleaning the exterior of the boat is easy. All you need is fresh water and a hosepipe. Get rid of any loose debris and salts. Applying high pressure when hosing off helps to eliminate any stubborn stains.
It would help if you then used a boat cleaner and a soft cloth to wipe off the grime. Apply boat protector, and your boat is set for storage.
4. Perform a Comprehensive Mechanical Checkup
Now that your boat is clean and ready for some months of no use, it is highly recommendable that you undertake an in-depth checkup before storage.
Some of the essential components to pay attention to during checkups include the battery, fuel, and oil change.
It would be best to remove the battery and charge it fully while the vessel is in storage. The idea will prolong the battery’s lifespan and ensure that it is ready once you decide to get back in the water.
What’s more? Run your engine to test it for a few minutes before changing the oil. If you notice that something is not right with the engine, ensure that you contact a repair expert for servicing before storage. If everything seems right, change the oil and the filter.
You should fill the fuel tank as this prevents moisture collection in the tank after a long time of no use. Also, filling the tank protects the tank from degrading.
5. Use a Boat Cover
Regardless of how safe your storage space looks, a boat cover plays a crucial role in protecting the boat from critters and other elements.
Your vessel is a significant investment, and it is only wise if you invest in its protection.
Small creatures such as mice may invade your storage space and cause damages to the yacht, but that does not have to be with a boat cover. Besides the creatures, a boat cover protects the vessel from stains and scratches.
The main challenge comes in selecting quality boat covers, especially with so many choices in the market.
Look for a reliable provider and seek expert advice to select the best choice depending on whether you intend to keep the boat indoors or outside.
6. The Engines
Your boat is nothing without a functional engine. You must, therefore, pay attention to its safety before putting the boat in storage.
Degradation and corrosion are common engine threats. You can protect your vessel from such issues by;
• Running the engine to test and warm it up
• Changing the oil filter and the oil
• Check the wires, connections, and pipes to ensure that they are in their best working conditions
• Using clean water to flush the engine until it’s thoroughly clean
• Store it in a vertical position to get rid of water
• Refill the engine with antifreeze
These steps will ensure that the boat engine is in tip-top condition even after months of no use.
7. Inspect the Tires
Check the condition of the tires and replace them if needed. While at this, check the tire pressures as this saves them from deflating while not in use.
Roll the boat trailer storage regularly to check for any flat spots and fill the tires if necessary. The goal is to ensure that all the boat components are in good working condition when you decide to get back on the ride. Tires are not an exception.
8. Disconnect the Drive Belts
You should not leave the drive belts unattended for an extended period. They tend to crack if not in use or if under tension for an extended period. Ensure that you disconnect them before storing the boat. This is crucial during the cold season.
9. Lubricate the Moving Parts
Grease all the moving parts, such as the control mechanisms and steering system. Apply lubricant on the metal parts like latches, linkages, and hinges. Other than lubricating the components, the grease displaces any moisture sitting on the joints. This, in return, prevents rust.
Thoroughly clean the motor to get rid of saltwater buildups that might consume the motor during the long period of no use. You should also grease the fittings, and if you intend to store the boat outdoors, you should consider covering the propeller area to keep water at bay.
Your Boat Is Ready for Storage
With the tips above, your vessel and boat storage areas are good to go. The key is to ensure that the boat does not have any underlying problems and the storage space is safe for its intended job. If you have any issues, contact a yacht expert and let them advise you further on proper boat storage.
Check out our site for more products that you may need to increase your boat safety during storage.