Summer is coming to end, and your days cruising the local river or lake in your boat will soon end as well. With that said, you're probably beginning to think about how you are going to keep your boat in top shape until it can once again head out onto the water next year. To that end, here are a few tips to keep in mind when storing your boat during the off-season.
Use a Storage Facility, Not Your Own Property
Some boat owners choose to store their boat in their garage or even in their driveway during the off-season. But a much better choice would be to look at a local self-storage facility and take your boat there instead. A storage facility can provide a temperature controlled room that will shield your boat from the elements of winter. Sure, you could cover your boat with tarps if it's going to stay on your property, but the protection just isn't as good. Moving your boat into a storage space will also keep your garage or driveway clear for other vehicles or activities.
Wash Every Last Spot
Before you lock your boat up for the winter, take care to ensure that every last bit of dirt and salt has been removed. A boat that goes into storage with dirt or salt still on it might suffer permanent damage to its paint job. If you want to ramp up the protection, consider applying a fresh coat of wax after you clean the boat and right before it goes into storage. While you're at it, don't forget to wipe down the interior of the boat as well, including the seats, carpeting and anything else that might have gotten salt, dirt or grime on it.
Disconnect the Battery and Flush Fluids
Finally, if you won't be using the boat for months, disconnect its battery to preserve battery life. You'll also want to completely flush and remove any fluids, including gasoline and coolant in the cooling system. This will help protect the engine and will ensure that you are starting the new season with a fresh supply of coolant and oil.
If you own a boat, you should understand that preparing the boat for the off-season is just as important as the maintenance you perform during the summer. Get a dedicated space at a boat self-storage facility like Lake County Storage of Round Lake Heights, clean and wipe down the boat as much as possible, and be sure to flush or disconnect internal parts before shutting things down for the year.