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Winterize Your Boat - Boat Storage How To's

Joel Belanger

Here's why you should winterize your boat before storing it for the winter.

Unfortunately, most of us can't use our boats and RVs all year long. If you live in a part of the country where the winter shuts down the outdoors season, you'll need to utilize boat and RV storage to keep your equipment safe and ready for the next season.

And even if you don't live in an area with snow, there's still a chance you'll need to store your recreational gear for a season. The best way to store either your boat or RV when not in use for an extended period of time is inside.

Most people don't have a garage big enough to fit one of these, let alone both. Investing in an indoor storage unit may be one of the best ways to safeguard your vehicles. But before storing, you'll need to prepare your equipment for storage.

Wondering why you should winterize your boat and RV? Want to know the best way to store your gear for a season? Keep reading for all the answers.

Reasons to Winterize Your Boat

For boaters who live in the northern part of the country, winterizing your boat is all too familiar. With temperatures regularly below freezing throughout the long winters, your only option to protect your boat from damage is winterization.

Winterization is a process of preparing your boat for extended periods of time to prevent damage from water. When water freezes, it expands. Inside the components of your boat, this can cause a lot of damage that would be expensive to fix.

But what about those who have boats in the South? Even in areas without snow, you can experience temperatures below freezing. Even during average winters, many people still store their boats during the coldest part of the season in places like Alabama.

To ensure your boat is as safe as possible in storage, proper winterization is important.

Where does water cause the most damage to boats in the US? It's not the ice-cold states of Minnesota or Michigan. It's the warmer states of California and those in the South where boaters are unprepared for occasional temperature drops or who don't follow storage best practice.

How to Winterize Your Boat

Ready to winterize your boat and prepare it for storage? It's certainly sad, but it's a must if we hope to use it again next season. Here's what you'll need to do.

Replace Engine Oil

When stored for a long time, moisture and acid in sitting oil can damage the engine. Drain the old oil before storage by warming up the engine when the boat is in the water.

Once the dirty oil has been flushed out, you can add new, high-quality oil and change your oil filter.

Flush and Drain Cooling Water

All water needs to be drained from your engine since it can expand when it freezes. Flush your water engine with fresh water and open up all drains. Use water muffs on your garden hose to make it easy to flush.

Stabilize the Fuel

You don't want your fuel tank to be stored empty or partially empty during storage. When sitting for long periods of time, the empty tank surface can collect condensation.

This water can be absorbed into the ethanol in your fuel, which will cause the fuel to separate, leading to corrosion in your engine. To prevent this, it's best to fill your fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer, which prevents the fuel from deteriorating during storage.

Fog the Engine

Sitting boats will always be subjected to moisture in the air. Long exposures to humidity can lead to corrosion.

It's recommended to use a fogging spray to provide a protective coating around engine parts. The resulting coating layer is anti-corrosive, protecting your boat's internal components.

Protect Against Corrosion

It's also important to grease and lubricate your engine's fittings. Purchase a marine-specific lubricant and use it on all areas that need additional protection against corrosion, rust, and oxidation.

Deep Clean

Make sure to perform a deep clean of your boat prior to storage. Clean it all, inside and out. Remove any valuables from the boat. Wax the outside of the boat.

Wrap It Up

Once you've completed all of the above, it's time to wrap the boat for protection. Those who store their boats at home often use a canvas boat cover to keep dirt, dust, and critters off the boat.

A better option is to have your boat shrink-wrapped by a professional. Shrinkwrap is perfectly fitted to your boat, preventing any possible openings or gaps. This will keep out all moisture, especially when stored outside.

Boat and RV Storage Spanish Fort, AL

Now that your boat is winterized and ready for long-term storage, where should you keep it? The safest place will always be indoors.

Temperatures can be controlled indoors, preventing exposure to below-freezing temperatures. They are also protected from rain, hail, snow, wind, critters, and theft.

Unless your boat is really small, you won't be able to keep it in your garage. It's also annoying to not have any space in your garage for long periods of time, so an external storage option is best.

Marinas often offer wet and dry storage options, but the cost to store a boat is often high. If you don't live close to the marina, this might not be worth it.

A better option is a flexible self-storage unit. At Titan Storage, you can store anything, including boats and RVs of any size. Our indoor storage is climate-controlled and under high-level surveillance and security.

Plus, our buildings are rated to withstand hurricane winds, making it the safest place for your valuables. You can access your belongings at any time with 24-hour gated access. We are conveniently located in Baldwin County near the Gulf Coast.

What About My RV?

Yup, your RV will fit in our storage facility, too. Our oversized storage units allow you to keep all of your investments safe.

Whether you are putting them away for the winter or storing them while you travel elsewhere, you can rest easy knowing they are under our care. Just follow these storage tips to keep it ready for the road.

Protect Your Recreational Investment With Boat and RV Storage

Owning a boat or an RV is one of the best investments you can make for a life well-lived. We know that they aren't cheap, so it's important that you keep them safe, well-maintained, and functioning for years to come.

Contact us today for the best boat and RV storage in Alabama.