Prepping Your Boat for Winter: A Step-By-Step Guide to Winterizing for Self Storage

Prepping Your Boat for Winter

Your boat is a huge investment, and you’ll want to keep it properly protected for the winter months. If you don’t have the appropriate space to store your boat on your property, a self storage facility is the ideal option. Trusted Self Storage has a variety of locations that offer secure storage for your boat. When choosing a facility, be sure to check for any special requirements they may have for storing boats.

When storing your boat in a self-storage facility, be sure to cover the boat with a tarp or other protective cover. This will safeguard your boat from the elements and keep it in top condition. Additionally, you should consider using a dehumidifier in an indoor storage space to help keep the air dry and prevent any moisture from accumulating.

Winterizing your boat is essential for protecting your investment and keeping it in good condition for the following season. However, it can seem overwhelming to take on this task. This step-by-step guide will provide you with the necessary information to effectively prepare your boat for a safe self-storage period.

Prepping Your Boat For Winter

Step 1 – Check for Damage

The first step in prepping your boat for winter is to inspect it for any damage that may have occurred over the boating season. This includes inspecting the hull, deck, and any other parts of the boat that may have been affected by wear and tear.

You should also check for any signs of corrosion, as well as any cracks or holes in the hull. This includes checking for cracks or worn spots in the decking, as well as any loose screws or bolts. Additionally, check the boat’s railings to make sure they are securely attached to the boat.

Finally, inspect the engine and any other mechanical parts of the boat. Check for any signs of wear and tear, as well as any signs of corrosion. Additionally, check the engine oil and other fluids to make sure they are at the right levels.

If you notice any damage or other issues, it’s best to have all of them repaired prior to storing the boat.

Step 2 – Drain the Water from the Engine

The next step in prepping your boat for winter is to drain the water from the engine. This is essential for preventing corrosion and other damage. To do this, you will need to locate the drain plug on the engine and remove it. Once the plug is removed, water will start to drain from the engine. Don’t forget to disconnect the hose from the water intake and drain the water from the hose.

Once the water has drained from the engine, it’s important to replace the drain plug and tighten it securely. Additionally, you should reconnect the water intake hose and make sure it is securely attached. This will help prevent any leaks from occurring while the boat is stored.

Step 3 – Cleaning and Waxing the Hull

Cleaning and waxing the hull will help protect the exterior of your boat from the elements and keep it looking nice for the following season. Use mild soap and warm water. For tougher stains, you may need to use a stronger cleaner. Be sure to give it a thorough rinse after cleaning.

Once the hull is clean, you can then apply a coat of wax. When applying the wax, be sure to use a soft cloth or sponge and work in small circles. Once the wax is applied, allow it to dry before you store your boat.

Step 4 – Winterizing the Electrical System

Now you’re ready to winterize the electrical system to protect against moisture and corrosion. To do this, you will need to disconnect the battery from the boat and store it in a cool, dry place. Additionally, you should disconnect any other electrical components and store them in a safe place.

Once the battery and other electrical components are disconnected, you should check the wiring for any signs of wear and tear. If you notice any issues, get them repaired before you store the boat. Additionally, it’s a good idea to lubricate any moving parts on the electrical components. This will help them move more freely.

Step 5 – Treating Your Boat’s Fuel System

Your next task is to treat the fuel system. To do this, you will need to drain the fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer. This keeps the fuel fresh and prevents it from deteriorating over the winter.
Once the fuel tank is drained, you should also change the spark plugs and oil filters. This will help ensure that your engine is running smoothly when you take the boat out in the spring. Don’t forget to check the fuel lines for any signs of wear or damage.

Step 6 – Cleaning the Boat’s Interior

The final step in getting your boat ready for winter is to tidy the interior of the boat. This includes cleaning out any debris, vacuuming the floors, and wiping down any surfaces. Additionally, you should check for any signs of mold or mildew and treat them accordingly.

Once the interior is clean and dry, you should also make sure all of the windows are securely shut. This will help prevent any excess moisture from entering the boat. Cover any furniture or other items in the boat with a tarp or plastic sheeting to protect them from the elements.


Prepping your boat for winter is essential for protecting your investment and keeping it in good condition. With this step-by-step guide, you can ensure that your boat is properly winterized for safe self-storage.

How To Prepare Your Boat for Both Summer and Winter Self Storage

Boating is the ultimate recreation for people who love the water and water sports. It’s fun, relaxing and an enjoyable family activity. However, boat maintenance and self storage takes time and energy. One of the biggest problems for boat owners, is properly storing their boat. Winter storage is critical for those living in a climate where temperatures fall below freezing.

On the other hand, storing a boat during the summer months can be important even if you’re using it only on weekends and holidays. Your boat can be permanently ruined if it’s stored improperly. Storing a boat correctly is not only necessary in the winter, but also during the summer.

Boat Storage Prep

Here are some tips to help you get your boat prepared for storage. Some extra work now will have your boat in pristine condition and waiting for you when your ready to enjoy the water.

Uncovered boat next to boat covered with tarp.

Get Your Boat Ready for Summer Self Storage

If you use your boat only sporadically during the summer, it should be stored properly when not in use. To keep your boat in the best condition and prevent mold and mildew, consider climate-controlled storage. You don’t want to incur damage or deterioration due to  high temperatures or humidity.

Here are some steps to consider for summer storage:

  • Keep the Trailer in Good Shape

The tires should be properly inflated, and check that the safety lights and wires are in good working condition.

  • Clean the Hull and Deck

Even though you’re not storing your boat for an entire season, you want it clean and free of trash and debris when you’re ready to use it again. Wash off the outside of the boat with a garden hose or sprayer.

  • Do a Quick Check for Damage

Check for any damage on the hull and motor. A small problem now that may lead to a large repair bill later can be corrected.

  • Be Sure Your Gear is Properly Stowed

All of your gear should be in good condition and correctly stored. Life jackets, fire extinguishers, first aid kits and flares should be checked for expiration dates and, if necessary, replaced.

  • Cover Your Boat

High temperatures and humidity are hard on a boat. When storing your boat during the summer, use a tough, plastic woven shade cover that will inhibit mold, rust, and fading.


Get Your Boat Ready for Winter Storage

It can be very costly to store your boat at the marina for the winter months or when you’re unable to use it for an extended period of time. Trying to store it at home is inconvenient and can be a security risk. It takes up space in your driveway or elsewhere on your property and is exposed to theft and vandalism.

A better solution would be to store your boat in a conventional storage unit that has sufficient space for your boat and trailer, or a secure outdoor parking area. Your jet skis, kayaks, and canoes can be stored right along with your boat. Storing with us is far less hassle for you and a safe, secure option for all your watercraft.

Follow these tips for safe winter storage:

  • Clean the Hull and Deck

You’ll be storing your boat for an entire season. You want it clean and free of last

summer’s trash when you’re ready to put it in the water next summer.

  • Add a Fuel Stabilizer and Fill the Tank

Condensation can form in an empty gas tank, causing corrosion or worse if the moisture

freezes. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening and your fuel will be ready to go

when you are.

  • Change the Oil

Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can corrode the engine. Change the filter

and flush it out so that no water remains. Then, add new oil.

  • Refresh the Coolant System

Drain the current coolant, flush with water, and fill with fresh antifreeze. Make sure

you’ve diluted the antifreeze to specification. This will protect your engine from freezing

and corrosion.

  • Disconnect the Battery

Don’t allow your battery to drain over the winter. Disconnect it and top it off with

distilled water. Charge it periodically to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it

back up to your boat.

  • Grease the Steering Mechanism

Grease the steering and control mechanisms so that they will be moving smoothly when

it’s time to take the boat out again.

  • Remove the Drive Belts

Before storing your boat, loosen or remove the drive belts. They may crack under the

stress of being kept under tension for long periods of time.

  • Maintain the Interior of Your Boat

If you have electronics in your boat, they are vulnerable to extreme cold and moisture.

Remove them prior to storage. Leather, canvas, and any other organic fabrics should be

removed to prevent mold and mildew. Empty the water tanks and run antifreeze through

the pipes.

  • Wash and Wax the Exterior

Cover the body of your boat with wax. This will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s

exterior and is particularly important if you are storing your boat outside.

  • Use A Cover

A cover is not merely an accessory, it is a necessity. A cover can be a significant investment, but it will protect your

boat from moisture, mold, fading, cracking and animals as well as being a theft deterrent.   


Here at Trusted Self Storage we can offer you a convenient, affordable, and secure facility to not only store, but protect your watercraft.  Any one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss your boat storage options.


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