Buying a boat is a large investment that you and your family can enjoy for many years if it is cared for properly. Storing your boat the correct way while not in use may take time and effort, but it is definitely worth the trouble if you are to protect your investment.
If you are using the boat often, you may choose to store it at home between uses. Smaller boats may be stored on a trailer. They can be kept indoors in a garage, or outdoors in a yard. If you store outdoors make certain it’s on level ground. A tarp system is a must. It’s preferable to construct a simple ‘A’ frame from a piece of 2X4 wood that is the length of the boat. Be sure to support the ends of the 2X4 securely. A heavy tarp is draped over the frame in a tent like manner. This allows heavy rains to flow down and away from the boat rather than risking water being left standing in the boat. Make sure to anchor the tarp securely on the sides.
Always clean the hull after use, and check for any barnacles that may be attached. Also check to be certain there are no cracks in the hull. This is especially important for fiberglass boats. As always, when storing at home make sure you have checked with your homeowners association and homeowners insurance provider to be sure you are covered for theft or other damages. Storing your boat at a storage facility can be cost effective and allow for easy access. Storage facilities such as Beltline and Security Storalls can offer security lighting, fences, and cameras to help prevent theft.
Some may choose dry docking for mid-size boats. It’s more expensive and time consuming but may be best if you don’t use the boat often. The boats are kept inside a building, and are hoisted onto a rack. If you are planning on being away for a long length of time, this may be a safe choice because it’s less likely to be stolen.
Larger boats normally will remain afloat between uses. For large boats it would be very expensive and time consuming to take them in and out of the water. For these, you may prefer to choose a 'boat slip’ as a good way to save time and money. Most boat slips are rented, and normally provide some type of security to prevent theft or vandalism.
If your boat is to be stored for a long period of time, be certain to change the oil and filter prior to storing, as leaving the dirty used oil for an extended time could be harmful to the engine. Also you will need to drain the engine’s cooling system. The gas tank must be emptied if your boat engine has a carburetor. Locate the drain screw at the bottom of the bowl of the gas tank and empty the gas out. Once the gas has been emptied replace the screw, then fill the tank with a fuel stabilizer, making sure to follow the directions on the stabilizer label.
Always make certain to empty the holding tank for bathroom waste. Some boats may require professional help with this task. Lastly, use a deodorizing solution.
Never, for short or long term storage, store a boat that has boating gear on board such as life jackets. Moisture can collect in these, ruining it for future use. If a boat is to be kept indoors, you may leave the storage lockers and hatches open to air out. If you are storing outdoors, make sure they are closed.
Remember to plan ahead for safe storing whether long term or short term. Simple but important tasks can prevent costly damages. Take time to make a checklist to prevent mistakes. You want to be sure that your boat will be enjoyed for many years to come!
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep organized and take the stress out of decorating your home for the holidays!
Beltline and Security Stor-Alls are located in Mobile, Alabama for all of your storage needs! Check outBeltline and Security on Facebook, or visit us online at www.StorAlls.com!