Being a boat owner is great. There are few things better than taking your boat on the water, cruising through the waves, water-skiing or wakeboarding, and spending time with friends and family in the sun. What do you do with your boat when you are not using it, however? This is a question that has probably bothered boat owners more than anything else throughout the ages. You can almost imagine the ancient Greeks trying to solve this conundrum with their Triremes after their adventures at Troy were done…
So, what do you do? Where should you store your boat…and how do you get it ready to store? This is a decision that should probably happen even before you buy your boat. If you don’t happen to have a huge garage or plenty space around your house (and understanding neighbors) a boat storage facility can be a safe and secure alternative to keeping the boat on your own ground. After you have decided the where, there are some things that you need to take care of before you can put your boat in storage. It may seem like a lot of work with a little payoff, but putting in the work now, before you store it, will ensure that your boat is in great shape and ready to go when the weather gets warmer and you are ready to take it out again. Here are some things that you should be sure to do that will pay big dividends next time you use your boat:
TAKE IT FOR ONE LAST SPIN
This is the easiest and most enjoyable part of the process by far… Before you get it ready for storage, even before you bring it to dry ground, it is a great idea to take your boat out for another voyage. Besides the obvious benefit of enjoying your boat, you will be able to take note of any repairs that are needed or replacement parts that you will have to purchase and install before you store it.
When you are done playing with your boat and have it out of the water, it’s time to get it washed off and cleaned up. Cleaning will help remove unwanted dirt and grime that could lead to corrosion. It will also ensure your boat is in tip-top shape for the next time you use it. A thorough cleaning is especially important for boats that have been in the ocean, as salt water is extremely corrosive. Start the cleaning process by removing the drain plug from the bilge*, scrubbing the hull and the decks, and rinsing everything off afterward. The cabin and interior of your boat will benefit from a good cleaning as well. Clean out interior lockers, let them dry thoroughly, and use an anti-mildew product throughout the interior to control mildew and limit musty smells. If your boat has a head, make sure to pump out the holding tanks, flush it out with plenty of fresh water, and treat it with a deodorizing solution as well. Finally, if you are storing your boat indoors, open all the hatches and storage lockers to air it while being stored. If you are storing your boat outside, you should close all the hatches and lockers to keep it sealed from the elements.
*Make sure to close hull drains before launching the boat.
Preventative maintenance is crucial to keeping your boat running and looking its best. You should conduct regular maintenance on your boat; however, you should be especially thorough when you store it. With proper maintenance, you will be out boating while your boating buddies are busy fixing the broken parts on their boats. Whether you pay someone to maintain your boat or do it yourself, here are some of the most important items you should be sure to check before you store your boat:
Engine: You should look over your engine and do preventative maintenance on it after every trip.
- Look over the engine for corrosion or rust. Also look over the engine clamps, fuel line, belts, and hoses for old or worn parts that should be replaced.
- Check the engine’s oil level and top it off or change it as necessary.
- To help prevent condensation in your fuel system, remove the spark plugs to spray fogging oil into the cylinders, fuel up your gas tank, and add some gas stabilizer. Make sure to run the engine for a couple minutes to allow the additives to get to the gas contained in the engine and fuel lines.
Electrical System: Make sure that all electrical connections are tightly fastened and free from corrosion or damage. Use an anti-corrosion spray on all electrical connections to keep them functioning properly. You should also check your boat’s battery. If you are storing your boat for a long time, make sure to unhook and remove the battery and then clean the terminals, focusing on any areas that show signs of corrosion. Once finished, apply a little grease and finally, charge the battery to full capacity and store it in a safe, warm place.
Bilge pump: A malfunctioning bilge pump could put you and your boat in a lot of trouble, so make sure to look over the electrical components to make sure it is working and free from corrosion.
Hull: Look over the hull carefully for signs of cracks or other damage. If you find any damage, it should be repaired immediately.
Propeller: Examine your propeller for any damage that would require you to repair or replace it. You should also tighten the propeller shaft and nut and grease the assembly.
Your boat should be properly covered with a waterproof tarp or custom watercraft cover, even if you are storing it indoors. A good cover will help keep dust and debris, moisture, and rodents out of your boat. Your motor should also be placed in the downward running position and covered with a tarp or canvas cover. Avoid plastic engine covers that could lead moisture build-up and corrosion.
Although it takes a little dedication when preparing your boat for storage, it will save you time, money, and a lot of heartache down the road. Once your boat is ready to be stored, Price Self Storage has the perfect solution for your boat storage needs at the following, convenient locations:
Situated between Corona and Norco at 2200 Cota Street with convenient access from both the 15 and 91 Freeways, our Norco storage facility offers outdoor RV and Boat Storage with a highly advanced security system.
As Southern California’s premier 100,000 square foot indoor Boat and RV storage facility, our Solana Beach Boat & RV storage location offers both pull-through and extra wide parking spaces between 11’ and 65’ feet long. Convenient to the San Diego area, our secure facility features fully accommodating doors to welcome RVs and boats of just about any size with plenty of space for full maneuverability. You and your family enjoy convenient daily access with cutting edge security systems such as surveillance video cameras with recorded footage and restricted computerized access to the gates. Our security protocols permit only authorized customers to gain entry through the secure gate system at all times.
Enjoy convenient access to our Murphy Canyon boat storage facility off of Murphy Canyon Road, about two minutes north of San Diego’s Qualcomm stadium. Key features include cutting edge security, a resident manager who stays on-location, and surveillance video cameras with continuously recorded footage.
Keep your RVs, oversize vehicles, and watercraft of all sizes secure in our Boat and RV storage facility in Azusa. Our clients enjoy daily access with convenient pull-through and extra-wide parking spaces between 25’ and 35’ feet long. We also offer a disposal station for sanitary waste to ensure you are always ready for your next adventure. Our cutting edge security system leverages recorded surveillance video cameras and computerized access restricting our gates so you can rest assured that your vehicle or vessel is safe in our care.