With the temperature taking a sudden plunge in cottage country, many cottagers have been forced to face the unfortunate reality; boating season is over. But worry not! Storing your boat properly is one of the most important factors to ensuring that your boat is first to hit the lakes next season.
Different boats have different storage needs. Whether you have a large cruiser, a bow rider or canoe, knowing the proper procedures to storing your boat during the winter months can minimize downtime next season and maintain the overall health of your boat. We’ve outlined some tips specific to certain boats, and some that are more general for all watercraft;
- Trailers need love too. Check your trailer for significant oxidation, tire pressure and tire health. Make sure the bunks haven’t moved during the season, and that your boat still sits on the trailer properly. Ideally, the heaviest point of the boat should be above the wheel axle.
- Wash and wax. Not only does this help protect the paint, it will also make your season that much nicer when coming back to a clean and shiny boat!
- Use a cover. Stopping dirt, dust and other grime is key to protecting your boat’s finish.
- Protect the hull. Spreading weight out as much as possible and supporting the boat at several points across the hull will minimize stress on any one spot.
Watercrafts with Living Quarters
- Remove all food before putting your boat away for the season. Keeping critters out helps keep the interior of the boat clean during the winter months. It will also help fight odours from forming in fabrics.
- If your boat has a water tank, make sure it and the lines are cleared out. Having water freeze during the cooler months can create a whirlwind of issues next season.
- Clean kitchen quarters and interior thoroughly. Keeping crumbs away minimizes the risk of critters making home to the inside of your boat.
- Store batteries in a cool, dry place. Making sure they don’t freeze or go dead over the winter months will help keep them in good shape for next season.
- Use fuel stabilizer. This helps any fuel in the tank and fuel lines avoid forming gummy deposits from oxidation.
- Change engine oil. This is to ensure that the engine will not seize from oxidation caused by any water that could have gotten in your engine oil.
- Spray fogging oil into the cylinder heads. Do this while turning over the engine, but don’t let the engine actually start up! Fogging oil will help keep the moving parts lubricated over the dry, still winter months.
Will Marshall Insurance is here to help with your watercraft and boat insurance needs. We hope everyone had a great boating season this year, and look forward to boating season in cottage country next year! Talk to us today to find out how we can help protect your boat.