If you are a first-time boat owner, you might not know how to prepare your boat for winter storage. Mold, dead batteries, corrosion and other things can happen if a boat isn't properly prepared for storage. Below is a guideline for winterizing your boat.
Prepare The Hull
The hull needs to be thoroughly cleaned before you store your boat. It's best to use a mild detergent to wash the hull. If you use the boat for fishing, you might want to wash the interior of the boat twice so that fishy smells are removed.
You will then need to wax the outside of the hull. Don't apply the wax in direct sunlight. Also, be sure to let the wax set for a couple of hours before removing it. Removing the wax with microfiber cloths is an option. Using a buffer is another way to remove boat wax.
Purchase a large enough tarp for your boat's hull. Be sure to let the boat air out once a month so that mold doesn't form inside the hull.
Preparing Four-Stroke Motors
In order to prevent sludge and grime from settling in your boat's engine and causing damage, you will need to change the engine's oil. Simply remove the drain plug and let the old oil out. Replace with oil with oil recommended by your motor's manufacturer.
Before storing the boat, be sure to run out all of the gas in your motor. The gas can go bad if you allow it to sit in the engine over the winter.
Preparing Two-Stroke Motors
Two-stroke motors operate with oil and gasoline mixed together. As such, you don't need to change the oil nor do you have to run the gas out of the motor. Simply add a fuel additive to your two-stroke motor before you store it for the winter.
More On Motors
Whether you have a four-stroke motor or a two-stroke motor, it will need to be covered in canvas for the winter. Make sure that the entire motor, including the trolling plate, is covered. Every few weeks, it's a good idea to remove the cover for a few hours to let the engine air out. Do so when the weather permits.
Preparing Electrical Systems
Purchase an anti-corrosion spray. Unplug all of your boats electronics. Thoroughly clean all of the electrical connections. After the connections are dry, spray the anti-corrosion spray on your boat's electrical connections.
It's important to charge your boat's battery every month while your boat is in storage. Some people find it more convenient to remove the battery for the winter so that it can be charged without having to access the boat.
Use the above tips to properly winterize your boat so that it isn't damaged during storage.