Here are our tips that could save you time, money, and maybe a pesky headache when you’re ready to take the boat out next season! It is important to perform some maintenance before storing your boat and boating gear for winter.
Boat battery. Remove your battery and store it somewhere warm and dry. Stored batteries should be brought to full charge once a month, so post yourself a reminder.
Drain tanks and pumps. Pump out the holding tank and empty the freshwater tanks. Drain pumps and hoses completely before storing. Remove the bilge drain plug and drain your boat of any excess water.
Remove electronics. Spending winters in a warm, dry place prolongs the life of your electronics. Taking them off the boat also eliminates the risk of theft.
Repair hull damage. If your hull has any damage either from sun, water, or other elements, make sure to repair it before putting it in storage as it may become worse with time.
Trailer: Check that all lights work properly and keep the trailer somewhere safe and dry. Check for any corrosion on the trailer parts and replace if necessary.
Inspect your life jackets. Before putting your life jackets away for the winter, please ensure your life jackets are in good condition (no tears/holes) and that they are completely dry. If they need to be replaced, do so before putting your boat away so you can start boating right way when it gets warmer. See more tips on inspecting life jackets here.
Restock equipment: Add equipment to your first aid kit, check flares and fire extinguishers for expiration dates and replace if necessary, calibrate carbon monoxide detector for accuracy.
We hope these tips will protect your boat and will also get you back on the water, doing what you love, as fast as possible. For more information, please see these handy winterizing checklists from our friends at the BoatUS.