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How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter Storage - Winterizing Your Boat

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

As the weather gets colder and the days shorter, boaters across the country begin to prepare their vessels for winter. If you're new to boating, the process of winterizing your boat can seem daunting. But don't worry - we're here to help!

In this blog post, we'll walk you through everything you need to do to winterize your boat, from storing it properly to washing your ropes. By the time you're finished reading, you'll be an expert on all things winterization!

Where to Store Your Boat

One of the most important things to consider when winterizing your boat is where you're going to store it. Will you be storing it on water or on land? There are pros and cons to both choices, so it's important to weigh your options carefully.

If you live in an area with mild winters, storing your boat on the water may be an option.

However, if you live in an area with harsh winters, it's best to store your boat out of the water. This will protect it from ice damage and freezing temperatures.

If you choose to store your boat on water, you'll need to take some extra precautions to ensure that it stays in good condition. First, you should cover most of the boat with a tarpaulin. This will protect it from any water that might leak through cracks or openings. This will also keep rain and snow off of the deck and hull.

You should also place a dehumidifier onboard to combat the moist air. Dehumidifiers can help prevent mildew and musty odors from developing during storage.

Finally, now is a good time to wash your ropes - putting them in the washing machine with a bit of fabric softener will extend their life by a few years.

If you decide to store your boat out of the water, there are a few things you need to do to get it ready for transport - even if it' just to the haul-out point at your marina.

Wash all of the salt off of the hull with fresh water. This will prevent corrosion during transport and storage. Second, remove all of the batteries from onboard electronics and appliances.

Batteries can leak acid and cause damage if they're left in devices during storage.

Finally, turn off all gas valves and disconnect all propane tanks. Gas valves can leak during transport and storage, which can be dangerous.

Dry storage will likely also cost extra, unless you are prepared to give up your mooring slip, so be prepared to factor that in, too. A benefit of dry storage though is that you can perform all the maintenance tasks you'd put off over the summer because you were out sailing all the time!


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