Boat Parking and Storage Tips to Keep Your Vessel Seaworthy
Learn the basics of boat parking and storage and keep your vessel seaworthy and ready for the next boating season.
Boating is an experience that is both rewarding and exhilarating - whether it's a hobby or a sport. But to own a boat means more than just having fun. It involves some crucial factors such as being safe and responsible while you're out in the water and knowing the basics of boat storage when it's time to shelter it from the harsh forces of winter.
Following these boat parking and storage preparation tips can help keep your vessel sea-worthy and ready for the next boating season.
Hit the Water One More Time
There's a good reason why you should savor the pleasures of your final cruise just before the weather turns harsh and that is to check if there's anything that needs to be fixed before storage. This is very important since winter can worsen the problems and can even wreak havoc on a boat that's not prepared for hibernation. So take your boat out on the water one more time and get the necessary repairs done just before you winterize.
From the Inside Out
Never miss out on this checklist for boat storage:
● Clean your vessel thoroughly. For starters, remove your boat's drain plug and give the deck and hull a really good scrub. As much as possible, get rid of the slime, grease, barnacles and other gunk that may have built up over the boating season. Open and drain the seacocks. Ensure that the fridge lockers are cleaned out and remove food or anything that could spoil if left over for storage. Do not forget to empty the water tank and dry out any areas where water may have accumulated to prevent mildew growth.
● To eliminate the risk of mold, get rid of fabrics from the boat interior wherever possible including leather items and canvas.
● To prevent moisture from building up, make sure to leave moisture-absorbent products inside.
● Remove all electronics from your craft. Keep in mind that electronics should not be stored directly on the ground since moisture film or dust may be present on such surface especially on concrete.
● You may want to apply a good coating of wax to your boat after a thorough cleaning since waxing the surface can help prevent rust formation during storage.
● Check for any openings and seal it off from the boat's exterior using duct tape. This will also help prevent any pests or rodents from sheltering inside.
● Cover your vessel. Whether at home, at a marina, or a self-storage facility, you need a snug-fitting cover to protect your craft from dirt, moisture, and other harmful elements.
● Perform an oil change. This is important if you want to keep your boat safe for storage over the winter. This is because there is a good chance some water or acid got into your oil from the previous months and if it's not removed, it could corrode your engine. Make sure to replace the filter, flush out the oil, and then change the oil.
● To protect the engine's interior from rust and other rust-forming impurities, spray it with fogging oil. You can do so without actually starting it. To do this, turn over your engine and while it's turned over, take the container of fogging oil and spray the spark plug holes and/or carburetor (depending on the instructions in your owner's manual) with it. This will help ensure the preservation of the moving parts of your engine during the winter months. Also, make sure the fuel tank is full to prevent condensation and corrosion by adding a marine fuel stabilizer.
● Add new antifreeze but make sure to flush your boat's coolant system first. This is a must since we want to stop components in your engine from freezing over the winter. Just make sure you don't forget to dilute antifreeze to the proper specifications of your vessel.
● Grease and lubricate the steering and control mechanism - bearings, joints, and other moving parts with marine-grade oils. You can also use simple grease when doing this, just make sure that all the joints are well-greased and that they move smoothly before storing your boat.
● To prevent the battery from draining when it's left disconnected, disconnect it and top it off with a bit of distilled water.
Boat Parking at a Self-Storage Facility
Now that you've ensured that your boat is ready for storage, the next thing you need to evaluate is the place of storage. You want to make sure that the place, as well as the amenities, are suitable for storing your watercraft. Should you decide to go for self-storage, look for these key points when considering a potential unit…
1. Watch out for drive lanes at the site. Driveways should be at least 40 feet wide or enough to manoeuver the boat trailer. A facility that offers a second gate or pull-through access is a great choice since it can provide extra maneuvering space.
2. Double-check the width and spacing of storage parking. Outdoor storage should have the size that's appropriate for your boat and its trailer. Meanwhile, the parking area should be well-delineated to prevent crowding. It also needs to have sufficient width for easy backing into or out of space.
3. When indoor storage is an option, get a good measure of the door height and ensure that there is sufficient height clearance on the door to the storage enclosure.
4. Verify the presence of the facility's security features. The industrial-standard security features should have strategic placement of fencing, lightning, video-surveillance, and the likes. However, not every storage facilities offer such features, just make sure that your preferred storage provider is proactive about keeping their security measures comprehensive and reliable.
5. When you're planning to store your boat out in the open, make sure to use a heavy-duty trailer lock. Use multiple locks if you must as it can also function as an effective theft-deterrent, keeping locks on both the hitch and the wheels.
Congratulations on placing checkmarks at all these crucial points! It only means that you're all set for boat parking and storage. Lastly, do not forget to check on your sea craft periodically once it's in storage especially if you’ve opted to store it outdoors since it's more exposed to various weather hazards. If that is the case, you’ll want to keep your property cover free of excessive rain buildup or snow. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to set sails once again come boating season.
Not sure about which storage size is best for your boat? Arco's Self Storage has 8 self-storage facilities across California with safe, secure, and self storage units for your specific needs. Contact us today and let us help you!