How to Prepare Your Boat for Storage

As the boating season winds down, boat owners must start thinking about options for winter storage. Whether you are a seasoned boating vet with years of winterizing experience or a new boat owner prepping for your first off-season, remember to ensure your boat insurance is current, and follow these important winterizing procedures.

General Tips For Winterizing

Water poses the biggest threat to your boat in the winter. Freezing is the biggest danger, but water can also promote mold, mildew, and corrosion. Notice that winterizing procedures vary depending on what storage option you are choosing. When you are preparing for winter boat storage, you’ll need to follow these tips regardless of where your boat will stay.

  • Clean the interior and exterior of the boat thoroughly.
  • Remove all valuables from the boat.
  • Empty out storage compartments and throw away all perishables.
  • Rust-proof any exposed metal to avoid damage from the elements.
  • Prep the engine by draining all water and adding corrosion protection
  • Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and  antifreeze to the water systems
  • Drain the sinks, tanks, and heads

At-Home Trailer Storage

The winter boat storage method that is most commonly used is on a trailer at home. This is convenient and affordable, but also leaves the boat vulnerable to pests and criminal activity. Be sure to verify that this type of storage is permissible for your homeowners association, if applicable. Here are important winterizing procedures for trailer storage:

  • Ensure the boat is completely dry to prevent ice from forming
  • Fill the trailer tires to prevent flats
  • Take out the battery and place on trickle charger
  • Shrink-wrap the boat to prevent mildew

At-Home Garage Storage

If your boat is small enough to fit in your home garage, this is a great option for winter storage. An attached garage will help to prevent freezing and will provide additional protection from pests, vandalism, and potential theft. Here are tips on how to store a boat in your garage for the winter:

  • Charge the battery and test it on a trickle charger each month
  • Flush the boat systems and fill with antifreeze
  • Rodent-proof the garage
  • Placing a protective tarp on the boat is critical, even when it’s in a garage

Dedicated (Dry Stacked) Storage

The preferred, safest method of storing your boat for the winter is at a dedicated indoor storage facility, also known as dry stacked storage. This type of facility keeps your boat safe from the elements and usually provides 24-hour security monitoring. Some storage providers also offer winterizing, maintenance, inspection, and transportation services. Here are some tips for storing your boat in a dry stacked facility for the winter:

  • Protect your boat with a waterproof covering
  • Remove batteries and put them on trickle chargers
  • Follow the facility guidelines regarding fuel tanks and fire prevention

Be sure to follow these tips and maintain your boat insurance over the winter so that you are protected in the off-season.

About Byrnes Agency

At Byrnes Agency, we offer insurance solutions that can be tailored to meet your specific needs. Whether you’re looking for personal policies or commercial coverage, we have the right coverage for you. To learn more about our products, contact us today at one of our two locations.

If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here and would like to know when we’ve published a new blog post, please “like” us on our Facebook page, and share this with your Connecticut neighbors. 

Dayville Office

Phone: (860) 774-8549 

394 Lake Rd

Dayville, CT 06241

United States

Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm

Norwich Office

Phone: (860) 886-5498 

6 Consumers Avenue

Norwich, CT 06360

United States

Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday 9:00am-5:00pm