How to Prepare Your Boat for Storage
Boating season in coastal North Carolina is still going strong, but as August comes to a close, it’s time to start planning ahead. Storing your boat for the winter isn’t as simple as pulling it out of the water and hauling it into your backyard. Weather conditions and long periods of sitting in one spot can put wear and tear on your boat and can even lead to costly repairs and extensive maintenance. Here are some tips to help prepare your boat for storage as the cold season approaches.
Change the oil.
One of the first and most essential things you should do to get your boat ready for storage is to change the oil. Any water or acids that have gotten into the existing oil can corrode the engine. Before you add new oil, be sure to flush the engine to eliminate all water that might be lingering there.
Drain the coolant, then flush it with water. Refresh your boat’s antifreeze levels, following all specifications and directions for your particular make and model. Doing this will prevent parts of your engine from freezing if we happen to have a cold winter, and will protect them from corrosion.
Add fogging oil.
The purpose of fogging oil is to protect the moving parts of the engine during cold months.
To add the fogging oil, you need to get your boat’s engine to turn over without starting it completely. While the engine attempts to turn over, spray the engine with the fogging oil. It may take several starts to get the engine sprayed thoroughly.
Remove the drive belts.
When kept under tension for a long time, your drive belts may crack under age and stress. Loosen or remove them completely before storing your boat.
Greasing the steering and control mechanisms will keep everything running smoothly for when spring comes. To ensure the mechanism is safe until then, you should apply waterproof grease to the joints and other steering components.
Disconnect the battery.
Don’t let your battery drain and die over winter. Disconnect the battery and be sure to charge it as needed throughout the fall and winter months.
Wash, wax and protect.
In addition to these tips, you should also wash and wax the boat before storing it for the winter to make sure you’ve removed any salt or other residue. Cleaning and adding protectant to the interior is always a good idea, too, not to mention investing in a quality boat cover.
Find the perfect storage space.
Last but not least, one of the best things you can do for your boat this winter is find a safe and reputable place for storage. Self-storage is a great option, as it’s the cheapest way to protect your boat from the elements while it's out of the water. Not only are storage units inexpensive, but they're also plentiful. Extra Attic Self-Storage has many available units all over eastern North Carolina. If you have any questions about storing your boat, please give us a call. We're happy to help you!