How you store your vessel in boat storage facilities affects its longevity and performance. Proper storage protects the boat from adverse weather conditions and minimizes the risk of damage, allowing it to remain in optimal condition while not in use. Here are some boat storage tips to keep your boat safe and functional during off-seasons:
Prepare Your Boat for Storage
Before storing your boat, you must prepare it to sit unused for an extended period. This includes cleaning it, checking its fluid levels, and completing other safety checks. Here is more information about these storage-preparation steps:
Cleaning and Maintenance
Conduct thorough cleaning and maintenance before placing your vessels in boat storage facilities. Remove all extra items and clean all surfaces of your boat, including the deck, hull, and interior compartments. Use marine-safe cleaning agents to avoid causing any harm to the boat’s surfaces or the environment. A protective wax coating to the hull can help shield it from dust and moisture. After cleaning, conduct a routine maintenance check. Inspect the hull for any signs of damage, and check the engine and all its components. The electrical system should function correctly, and if there are any issues, address them promptly to prevent further deterioration while in storage.
Fuel and Fluids
If the vessel will be in storage for an extended period, fill the fuel tank to prevent the interior from rusting due to moisture. Adding a fuel stabilizer can help prevent the fuel from degrading over time and causing damage to the fuel system. Change other fluids, like engine oil, coolant, and hydraulic fluid, before storage. Fresh fluids can protect the vessel’s engine systems from degrading or corrosion. The engine coolant should be suitable for the lowest expected ambient temperature in the storage facility to prevent the coolant from freezing. Ensure the antifreeze level is correct for boats with a closed cooling system.
The electrical components of your boat need special attention before storage. Disconnect all electrical devices and remove the batteries. This prevents gradual battery discharge and potential damage to the electrical system caused by dormant storms. Clean the battery terminals and apply a layer of grease to prevent corrosion. Turn off all switches and breakers to avoid electrical consumption during storage. Inspect all wiring and electrical connections for any signs of wear or damage. If you find any, seek the help of a qualified technician for repair or replacement before storage.
Choose the Right Boat Storage Facilities
Consider indoor and outdoor storage facilities with various security measures. Indoor storage facilities offer protection from weather elements, shielding your boat from rain, sun, and wind damage. This option often includes climate-controlled units, which can prevent damage from extreme temperature fluctuations and reduce the possibility of mould growth. Outdoor storage facilities are suitable for larger boats that may not fit in standard indoor spaces. Vessels in outdoor storage facilities may require frequent maintenance checks and protective measures, like boat covers, to shield them from weather damage.
A boat storage facility’s security features help protect your vessel from theft, vandalism, and other threats. These features might include physical barriers like fences, walls, or gated entrances that prevent unauthorized access. Technological systems like surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and advanced locks provide further layers of security. The presence of security personnel, access control protocols, and well-lit areas also deter potential threats and enhance the overall safety of the storage facility.
Best Practices for Boat Storage
Keeping your boat in optimal condition while in boat storage facilities involves preparing the vessel and finding a suitable facility. This process involves cleaning and inspecting the boat and keeping the hull and interior compartments free from items that may cause damage. The fuel and fluids levels should be maintained appropriately, including using a fuel stabilizer and refreshing fluids before storage. Protect your boat’s electrical system by disconnecting all electrical devices, removing the batteries, and inspecting the wiring for wear or damage. Contact a boat storage facility today to learn how they can help keep your boat safe during storage.