How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter Storage

With the end of summer comes the end of boating season. Getting your boat prepped for storage will help to ensure an easy transition back onto the water in a few months. There’s more involve to storing your boat than simply dragging it out of the water and putting it in a storage facility. Storing your boat over the winter months can be tough on your boat. Storing it properly can help reduce the chances of damage and repairs. Here are some easy tips for storing your boat for the colder months.


Clean your boat

Give your boat a thorough clean. This will help the boat last longer. Clean the inside, outside, hardware, trim, etc. You can also give the exterior a fresh wax to protect it from the elements. This is also a good time to check for blistering, cracks, or any other damage. It’s best to get things repaired before putting your boat away for winter.


Do an Oil Change

You should change the engine’s oil as well as the oil filters on the stern drive, inboard engines, and outboards. Be sure to change the oil when the engine is slightly warm. Also make sure to get the appropriate oil for your boat. By changing the oil, it prevents water and acid from corroding the engine.


Flush the Cooling System

Flush the cooling system with fresh water to help remove salt, dirt, and debris. This will help prevent corrosion. If you live in colder climates, it ay be a good idea to run anti-freeze through the system.


Protect the Engine with Fogging Oil

Use fogging oil to help keep the boat’s engine well protected during those winter months. While the engine is running, spray the fogging oil into the air intakes.


Prep the Fuel System

You should top off your boat’s fuel tank before storing it. This will help prevent condensation build-up, which could lead to corrosion. You should also change the fuel filter at the end of the boating system. You may also want to consider adding a fuel stabilizer, if your boat doesn’t already have one


Remove the Drive Belt

When under tension for prolonged periods of time, the belt can weaken and crack. It’s best to completely remove it before storing your boat.


Disconnect the Battery

Don’t let your battery die during the winter! Disconnect it and top it off with distilled water. You can also run the battery a few times during the winter to make sure that it’s good to go when summer comes back around.



Take some time to lubricate the steering system and any mechanisms. This can help protect your boat during the storage and cold weather. Even small pieces can have critical functions, so check over your boat and lubricate!


Do a Final Check-over

Go through and do a final look over. Remove any additional items or toys from your boat, since they increase the risk of moisture damage. Look for any damage – mechanical systems, dings, cracks, potential leakage, corrosion, etc. Now is the time to catch those small problems before they get too big and too expensive.


Cover Your Boat

Use a protective cover to protect your boat from dust and dirt while it sits in storage. The best option for storage is in a closed and climate-controlled facility. However, that’s not always possible. Make sure your boat is protected from the winter elements, no matter how you decide to store your boat.


Get the Right Insurance Coverage

Talk to your insurance agent to discuss a boat insurance policy. Depending on where you live, your rates can vary widely. Especially if you live in a cooler climate where boats are only used a few months out of the year, it’s important to discuss the details with your agent. They can help you select the coverage that makes sense for your life.


Call 888.754.8299 to chat with an Encharter agent about boat insurance! We’re happy to address any questions or concerns you might have.


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