When the weather gets too rough and you need to store your boat, pick a storage facility like Fox Den Store-It. On-site management and great security means no headaches for you while the boat is in storage. Fox Den Store-It has units, and access ways, large enough, and accessible enough, to fit your vessel. This means no problems getting it in or out.
In-door storage is best for a boat because it prevents excess moisture accumulation on the inside, and outside, of your boat. Wind can move your boat cover around damaging the hull. Snow or rain sitting on the cover will rust snaps and zippers causing condensation and maybe even mold under the canvas.
Here are some other things to remember before you store your boat, so you’ll be ready to hit the water when the weather turns.
Wash and repair any outside dings, or cracks, on the hull and wax it. Clean the interior and remove any cushions, or other items that might mildew, and store separately. Clean the interior carpets and floors and use a marine protectant on the upholstery.
Remember to properly support the hull during storage to prevent cracking or engine misalignment. Get a good quality canvas cover and make sure to check the snaps and zippers each year. A marine retailer usually has snap and zipper repair kits, if needed. Apply candle wax or a light oil to the snaps and zippers to prevent corrosion.
Test all electronics and replace, if needed, so you’re good to go when it comes out of storage. Put small electronics in sealed containers and store batteries separately in plastic bags.
Clean, charge and store your battery. Remove the negative cable first, then the positive, and scrub the terminals with a mixture of baking soda and water before storing. Check water levels of flooded electrolyte batteries and top off with distilled water.
Check the deck plate gasket, or o-ring, because the rubber can harden over time and rain or spray can leak into the tank. A marine parts supplier will have a quick replacement, if needed.
Ensure the bilge spaces are clean and free of oil. Turn the battery switch off – but leave the bilge pump switch on.
Drain the fuel tank, but fill the water tanks, and add a cap full of bleach for every 30 gallons.
Run the inboard and outboard motors in fresh water.
Remove the anchor chain and lay across sawhorses, or something similar, to make sure it doesn’t rust.
Tie down the boom and securely tie all halyards and lines on deck.
Remove all flammables from the boat, including dinghy fuel, lighter fluid and emergency flares.
Spray all locks with an anti-corrosive product.
If you are storing a larger boat, cover all hatches and windows with canvas. Painter’s tape will secure the canvas and not damage the finish around the hatch or windows. This will prevent damage, as well as keep rodents and pests out.
Apply a thin coat of wood oil to interior wood finishes. Prop up mattresses and large cushions that aren’t being removed from the boat.
Before you take the boat out – check the fuel system and lines to make sure there was no leaking or other issues. Change the oil. Check the belts, cables, hoses, propeller and hull for any cracking, mildew or damage.
Flush the water tanks with fresh water.