When fall comes around the days get shorter, the weather gets cooler and boating season comes to an end. For boat owners this means the daunting task of getting the boat ready for winter is right around the corner. Boat storage preparation is an important step for all to take. It does not have to be stressful and frustrating. There are many articles written on winterizing your boat’s engine but fewer articles focus on the other parts of your investment. The time between getting the boat out of the water and into storage is a good opportunity to do some cleaning that you may have been putting off, not to mention the important steps that can be taken to prevent any pesky winter invaders!
One important step is to give everything an adequate cleaning, inside and out. Give the hull a thorough scrubbing to remove any algae, weeds or grime that has built up over the summer. Do not forget to pull the drain plug and let any water on the inside drain as well. Clean the inside of the boat and any portions of the bilge you can get to. After cleaning, open up compartments or other hatches to help circulate air, water in the bilge does not smell pleasant come spring! Clean any upholstery and repair any rips or tears. Also, pull any electronics and store them indoors.
Another step to take is to prevent mice from wreaking havoc while your boat is in storage. Remove items that would make comfy mouse bedding from the boat: seat cushions, life jackets, ropes, etc. If unable to store these items outside of the boat, place in plastic totes with locking lids. Finally, consider some home remedies to deter mice. Spread several dryer sheets throughout the boat as one option. Another mouse deterrent to try is crushed moth balls, place several plastic cups of crushed moth balls throughout the boat, the smell will help keep them away.
With a few small steps to prep your whole boat for storage you can look forward to a worry-free and stress-free start to the boating season!