Types of Boat Storage
Purchasing a boat is a huge investment. To keep it in excellent condition for years to come requires maintenance, and ensuring it is stored properly when it is not being used. To truly protect your boat from the elements, pests, extreme weather, and other harms, you should consider a storage facility rather than leaving your boat in the backyard or driveway.
Indoor Boat Storage
Depending on the size of your boat, you may be able to house it in an indoor storage unit. Indoor storage units offer extra protection from the elements along with extra peace of mind that it is safe. Leaving your boat outdoors can be hard on the hull, motor and other systems within your boat. This is especially true if you live in areas of the country that experience weather extremes.
Boats stored indoors tend to operate better and last longer. While storing your boat indoors is more pricey than storing it indoors, it can save you costs on maintenance in the long run. Costs are often cheaper than storing your boat at a marina, and much better for the boat.
Outdoor Boat Storage
Another viable, less expensive option is storing your boat in one of our outdoor storage facilities. These spaces are similar to a parking lot and offer a safe, secure place to house your boat when you're not using it.
When storing outdoors, you will want to cover your boat. This provides protection from the elements such as sun, wind and rain. This is one of the more economical ways to store your boat and is perfect for anyone who is working with a smaller budget.
How to Store Your Boat
Preparing your boat for storage properly is one of the easiest ways to ensure it stays in the best condition possible. Whether you are storing it long-term (such as in the off-season) or just in between uses, storing your boat improperly could cause problems. To avoid unnecessary, costly problems, take the necessary steps to ensure a minor issue doesn't become a major one in storage.
Preparing Your Boat for Indoor Storage
- Drain the fuel or run the engine with a fuel stabilizer. Since the boat won't be outside in frigid temperatures you won't need to antifreeze the system. Review your owner's manual for additional tips and insights for storing your boat over the winter months.
- Ensure the environment is climate controlled. If you're worried about the elements getting into your storage unit, you can use charcoal, kitty litter or any other moisture absorber to help protect your items. If using any one of these moisture absorbers, remember to check on them every few weeks and change them out. Another option for ensuring protection from the elements is to rent a climate-controlled storage unit. These units were created for storing items that have a greater chance of being damaged due to extreme temperatures.
Place open boxes of baking soda around (and inside) the unit.
- To keep the interior of your boat smelling fresh from mildew and mold it is crucial to keeping your boat in the best condition.
- Another option for keeping odors away is to use desiccant bags which will help your boat stay fresh.
Winterizing Your Boat
Winterizing your boat means preparing it for long-term storage during the winter off-season. Ensuring your boat is properly winterized is one of the most important things you can do to prolong its life. Whether you're storing your boat indoors or outdoors, it's handy to fully prepare it before storage.
Before putting your boat in indoor or outdoor storage, make sure you:
- Check the hull for gelcoat blisters, cracks or any other damage with may have happened over the summer.
- Clean your motor to protect it from barnacles or any other unwanted guest which may cause serious damage to your boat. In addition, use this time to wash and wax your hull to remove any dirt, algae, and other scum. This is also a good time to clean the inside of your boat, such as the vinyl which can dry and crack.
- Remove any electronics so that you can to protect them from the harsh environment winter may bring. Once you've transferred the electronics into a safe place, spray a moisture-displacing lubricant over the disclosed electrical connections.
- While you're tending to the interior of your boat, this is the perfect time to wash down walls and vacuum any carpet. Also, if your boat has a removable head, remove the piece and clean it (make sure it is dried well) before you store the boat for the winter.
- Drain your fuel engine and flush it out with fresh water. After the engine is cleaned out, add anti-freeze your engine and lines to protect them from freezing. If your boat has any sinks or showers, check to ensure they are drained and filled with antifreeze.
- Now that you've cleaned out the interior of your boat and flushed out your engine, keep the exterior of your boat protected by cover. As you decide on a cover for your boat, choose a cover that will reach the waterline. In addition, you will want to have a frame over your boat to ensure the weight of the snow is distributed evenly. If you don't have a frame around your boat, there are some aluminum tubing kits you can get to ensure your boat is protected.