Just like pulling your boat into the dock during the summer, storing your boat during the off-season is a somewhat delicate process that requires a bit of preparation. If done properly, it can add years to your boat's life. If done haphazardly, it can do the opposite. Here to help you make all the right boat storage choices, our team at Stor-It has put together this comprehensive guide on the best way to store a boat. Below, we cover everything from winter boat storage to spring cleaning — helping you make your boat the best it can be while it's away from the water. Read on to learn more, and explore Idaho self-storage with our team today!
In football, a quarterback is only as good as his left tackle. In boat storage, a boat is only as good as the roof above its head. You are going to want a completely walled-in space for your boat to be housed in the off-season. Can you store a boat in a storage unit? Yes, you can — though indoor storage isn't always necessary. Outdoor covered and uncovered parking within storage facilities or carports can also work great. Just make sure that you get a heavy-duty boat cover (and follow the rest of the steps below). Remember, doing something is better than doing nothing. Do not leave your boat in the water. That causes a much quicker deterioration process. If you're not good with space measurements, here's a handy guide to find out how big of a unit you need to store your boat this winter.
This step is meant to help you check for any issues that you might not have noticed when out having fun with the boat. Pay attention to how the engine is running and look for any cracks in the hull. If you find any areas of concern, it's best to get them repaired before fall or winter boat storage so they don't worsen while your boat is locked up.
Hoist your boat out of the water and drain the bilge, pipes, seacocks, water tanks, and pipes. Do not winterize the engine at this point! Once all water is out of these areas, spray the bilge with moisture-displacing lubricant and add antifreeze to the water tanks and bilge to prevent any sort of cracking in the harsh winter months. Wash the outside of your boat with soap and water, and be sure to remove anything growing on the side of the boat. Clean out the inside of the boat as well, removing all things from compartments.
The best way to store a boat involves careful engine winterization. Though the process is too long to cover in detail in this post, we'll give you a short step by step guide to get you started. First, fog the engine with fogging oil. Next, change the engine oil and fill the engine block with antifreeze. Finally, top off the fuel tank and leave room to add in fuel stabilizer to prevent phase separation and stop varnish and gum from forming in your engine.
A little goes a long way when it comes to lubricating your boat parts. Grease the control mechanisms and steering systems. Use the same moisture-displacing lubricants that you used for the bilge on all moving metal parts such as latches, hinges, and linkage. This will help prevent rust and stop your boat's components from affecting one another.
You've done most of the cleaning, lubricating, and winterizing. Now it's time to remove that battery. Take it out and completely charge it. Store the charged battery in a dry, warm place until you take your boat out of storage. As a last maintenance measure, clean the battery terminals and cover them with a layer of grease for one final round of lubrication.
No matter where you are storing your boat, you are going to want to cover your boat with some sort of material. If it's outside in the open, a heavy-duty, waterproof winter cover is going to be your best friend. If it's in your climate-controlled garage, a lightweight cloth cover will suffice to keep the dust from settling on the boat in the long winter months. Seal all of your exhaust ports (if your boat has them) so that critters don't move in during the cold winter months.
Whether you prefer to take your boat out on Lucky Peak Reservoir or the slow windy curves of the Snake River, the one thing that's certain is the best way to store a boat in Southern Idaho is at a Stor-It Storage facility. With 14 storage locations all across Southern Idaho, we are Idaho's largest, oldest, and most-trusted storage company. Your winter boat storage will be made even easier with 24/7 365 access to all of our facilities, plus our scores of drive in, drive out storage units. We also offer covered and uncovered parking options for boats of any size. With reasonable insurance options for all of your boat storage needs, you can rest easy knowing your boat is financially insured in its home away from home. Enquire today to learn more about how to store a boat and reserve your storage space with us!