A self-storage facility is the safest way to store your boat for the Winter or longer. When storing a boat during cold months, it's absolutely necessary to properly winterize your boat to avoid unnecessary damage. It's best to consult your owner's manual for any special winterization techniques your boat may require. The following covers a few of the most common winterization steps as well as other general tips for storage on land.
Check your entire hull for any splits or stress cracks first. You'll want to thoroughly clean the hull with pressure washing, and be sure to remove any barnacles or attached debris. Finding a proper cover may take a little research, but it's worth the time to find a tight-fitting cover for your model. A better fit helps reduce any mold or mildew buildup.
After changing the oil filter and oil, consider running the engine idle while flushing the engine with fresh water. Drain the water completely and refill antifreeze if appropriate for your engine type. Spray proper fogging oil into the carburetor with the engine on and use the fuel valve to cut fuel supply. Once the engine has stopped, take out any spark plugs and use more fogging oil on the cylinders. Put the plugs back in after you've cranked the engine a couple times.
Fuel and Bilges
Top off the engine to prevent condensation and water vapors and add fuel stabilizer. Brush the bilge for cleaning, spray lubricant, and add a bit of antifreeze.
You'll want to remove all electronics and boat accessories that can hold moisture. It's a good rule of thumb to just remove anything you possibly can from the interior. Wash all of the carpets and deck, then drain all built-in heads. Add antifreeze to these as well, and prepare moisture absorption products when storing in humid climates or regions.
Battery and Tires
Disconnect the battery and store at home. All trailer tires need chucks to prevent rubber wear or damage.
Every boat is unique, so use these steps as a guideline. Make sure you take winterization seriously! You want to put in the time to protect your investment to maximize the lifetime of your boat.