5 Things You Should Do Before Storing Your Boat for the Winter

If you've recently purchased a new boat, you have probably been enjoying trips on lake and river outings all summer. However, summer will come to an end soon, and it will be time to put your boat away for the winter. Naturally, you want your boat to be in the best possible shape when it's time to bring it out again for summer fun. Here are five things you should do to ensure that your boat is ever functional and ready to roll when the fish start biting next year.

Prep the Fuel Supply

During the last week that you spend in the water on your boat, prep the fuel supply by adding a fuel stabilizer to your boats fuel tank. These are similar to the high-octane gasoline additives that can be added to your car's fuel tank for better performance. Be sure to check your owner's manual before purchasing an additive because different types of engines have different requirements. It will state on the product's packaging what type of engine it is meant to be used on.

Fog the Engine

Fogging the engine is the first step in properly winterizing a boat right before you pull it out of the water to put it away for the season. The purpose is to make certain that all parts are well-lubed for the coming period of inactivity.

To fog the engine, you must lubricate the pistons and cylinders of the engine while it is running. There are spray bottles available for this purpose, so don't try to do this by wiping oil on the parts with a cloth. Fuel additives can also be added to the fuel tank for the purpose of distributing them among the engine's moving parts.

Change the Engine Oil

You should change the oil on your boat right after you fog the engine. Changing the oil before you put the boat away for the season ensures that dirty oil doesn't sit in the tank for months, possibly corroding it. Contact your county's waste disposal program for information regarding the proper disposal of engine oil; it's illegal in most places to simply place this in the trash. You should also change the fuel filters at this time.

Scrub Surfaces Clean

Scrubbing all surfaces with a mild, biodegradable cleaner with a neutral pH level after you take it out of the water for the winter is essential to preventing the development of mold and mildew colonies. Be sure to clean your boat as early as possible on a sunny day in order to allow it time to thoroughly dry out before the sun goes down and dampness sets in. Use oil-based furniture polish on wooden surfaces such as cabinets and drawers to protect them from damage caused by winter's typically drier air, and make sure all carpeted areas are well-cleaned.

Take it Inside

Even if you throw a tarp over your boat to keep the rain and snow off, you will still have to contend with the growth of mold and mildew colonies. Keeping boats in covered outdoor areas still involves risk of mold and mildew development, and most people don't have the necessary garage space for overwintering watercraft.

A climate controlled storage facility can keep your boat mold and mildew free throughout the course of the winter as well as prevent engine fluids from freezing in sub zero weather. Of course, there's also the added benefit of providing you with secure storage where your boat will be protected from theft and vandalism. You can learn more about storage facilities or start comparing your options through resources like http://www.getepicstorage.com.