How to Prepare Your Boat for Off-Season Storage

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Acorn Mini Storage’s Guide to Boat Storage

As summer comes to a close and the many weekends sunbathing and coasting on the lake with your boat become a distant memory, it’s time to wrap it up and prepare to store it for the off-season. No matter what type of storage you’re putting your boat in, preparing your boat for storage is essential so it’ll be in peak adventure mode next summer. Follow these five tips to prepare your boat for storage and store your boat with Acorn Mini Storage!

1. Clean Your Boat

You can’t properly store your boat for the off-season if it has dirt and grime covering it. If you leave it covered in scum, it will only be that much harder to clean when it’s time to pull it out of boat storage next year. Before you start, empty your boat of any items or trash floating around to prevent clutter and keep out any unwanted pests or rodents. Once you’ve decluttered, you can start cleaning the interior parts of your boat, which can be as simple as using a mixture of hot soapy water. Wipe down all the seats and cabinets, and turn any cushions up at an angle to prevent mildew build-up.

Additionally, a hot, soapy water mixture is perfect on the exterior of your boat because you’re going to clean the engine in addition to the hull bottoms, hull and gel-coat surfaces, and the canvas. Cleaning your boat before you put it in storage may seem like a hassle, but it will pay off when you take it back out on the lake in the following season, and you’ve got the best-looking boat on the water!

2. Remove and Disconnect the Battery

Once your boat looks brand new, it’s time to hit the technical features of your prized possession. There are many advantages to disconnecting and removing the battery of your boat. Doing so prevents theft and anyone messing with your boat because it can’t go anywhere without a battery. It also prevents unnecessary battery drain; if you leave it plugged in for the duration of your storage experience, your battery will die and be useless.

If you remove and disconnect the boat battery, a fully charged battery can hold its charge for 6-12 months. Once you remove the battery, we recommend you take it home with you and store it somewhere safe for you to come back to it next season.

3. Perform Boat Engine and Fuel System Maintenance

Performing boat engine and fuel maintenance is one of the most important steps when preparing your boat for storage. If your engine and other technical parts aren’t taken care of properly, it can cause enough damage for it to have trouble functioning. First things first, protect your engine. You need to remove all the water with a hose and then use compressed air to blow out any water remaining. As your boat sits untouched in the off season, your engine builds up oil residue, which results in damage and won’t allow your boat to run correctly.

Winterizing your boat is another best practice when preparing your boat for storage. When you store your boat in a cold winter climate like we have here in Minnesota, you must winterize your engine to prevent it from freezing. All you have to do is add an anti-freezing mixture to the cooling system and run the engine for a few minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself, plenty of expert boat mechanics would be happy to help!

4. Protect Your Boat from Corrosion

One thing most people neglect to do before they put their boat away for the off season is fill up the tank with gas. When the gas tank is empty or partially empty, condensation builds up inside, leading to corrosion or other damage. In addition to filling the tank, add gasoline stabilizer to make sure the gas is good to go when the weather begins to warm up.

5. Cover Your Boat

Lastly, once you’ve completed the ins and outs of preparing your boat for storage, all that’s left is to cover your boat. Whether your boat is stored indoors or outdoors for the winter, it’s essential to have a cover over it regardless of where it’s stored. Without a boat cover or some sort of tarp to offer protection, your boat could end up covered in dust, debris, or potential damage. That extra layer of protection goes a long way and keeps your boat looking flawless for years to come.

Store Your Boat Storage with Acorn Mini Storage Today

Whether you’re a new boat owner or you’ve been hitting the water for years, knowing how to store your boat for the winter can save major headaches come summer. With these boat storage tips, you can create the best solution to ensure your boat is in tip-top shape when it’s time to hit the water again. When it is time to make more summer memories and de-winterize your boat, you’ll be glad to know it was kept safe at Acorn Mini Storage. Find a location near you to rent boat storage today!

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