Preparing Your Boat for Winter Storage

When winter comes around, your time out on the water slows down. Depending on where you live, you may haul your boat away from your dock and store it. Now is the time to winterize your boat and prepare it for next season. Winter can be very harsh not only on the exterior of your boat, but also on the interior and your marine vinyl fabric, too.  

Here are some other tips to keeping your boat healthy during the colder months.  

Wax On, Wax Off 

Now that the boat is out of water, you can get a full view of it and take care of the parts that were inaccessible. A clean boat will weather the winter months much better than a dirty one.  

Start by pressure washing the boat’s surface to make sure you get all the growth off the shaft, props, rudders, struts, and anything else that’s attached to the lower unit. Clean the top-sides, deck, and lower unit with soap and water. Wax the deck thoroughly and check to see if the hull needs to be waxed, sanded, or painted.  

Flush, Change, or Add 

You’ll need to flush some of your boat’s systems and add liquids like fuel, oil, and antifreeze. Flushing your cooling system with warm freshwater can remove dirt, salt, or corrosion that’s gathered this season. Don’t forget to top off your fuel tank in order to avoid any build-up of condensation.  

Next, change your fuel filter at the end of the season. By adding marine fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank, you can reduce the gum and varnish build-up. This helps to keep the entire fuel system clean while in storage. Run the engine for a few minutes after adding the stabilizer. This helps to make sure that it circulated throughout the system. 

Soak Up All Water  

Any sort of leftover moisture can cause corrosion while sitting stagnant in the winter months. Drain all the water from the engine. Clean and dry live wells, storage areas, and fish holds. Remove and clean all your seat cushions to fight off mildew. Add a commercial absorber to eliminate mold and mildew.  

Take Care of Your Battery  

Your boat’s battery needs to survive the winter, so it must be kept charged. Test the charge of your batteries once a month. If the charge falls below 75%, plug in the charger, and top it off with a charge overnight until it reaches 100%. If you live in a climate where freezing occurs frequently, remove batteries entirely from the boat and store them in your home.  

Take care of your boat this winter season before it’s too late. While its off the water is the perfect time to replace your marine vinyl fabric from your flooring to your seats. All Vinyl can help you choose the right material for you. Contact All Vinyl Fabrics or call 1-877-618-4695 today to get started.  

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