Tips for Preparing Your Boat for Storage

Caucasian man pressure washing outboard motors on power boat

You have had several unforgettable adventures on your boat, but now it’s time to put it into storage. Instead of placing your boat into a friend’s unheated garage or hoping it remains safe under a tarp, you have decided to give it the best possible environment by putting it into a storage facility.

Here are a few simple tips to help prepare your boat for safe and secure storage!

Change the Oil and Fill the Gas Tank

The best place to begin prepping your boat for storage is to change the oil. This step will help ensure any water or caustic materials that have made it into the system are flushed out and don’t corrode your engine. Follow the steps in your manual to change the oil, including changing the filter and flushing the system to ensure no water remains. Once you’re finished, refill the oil to the proper levels.

Next, fill the gas tank and add a stabilizer. This step will help prevent condensation and corrosion inside the tank. After you add the stabilizer, turn the motor on, which allows the fuel and the stabilizer to work throughout the entire system.

Prepare the Motor

The next step is to prepare the motor. A fuel tank flush and oil change are good starting places, but these aren’t the only ways to prevent corrosion or damage to the motor while it’s in storage. The best option is to apply a fogging oil into the carburetor. The oil provides a nongreasy, protective film to the engine’s internal components, which helps prevent corrosion.

First, refer to your boat’s owner’s manual to apply the fogging oil. The manual will provide specific instructions on where to apply the fogging oil. Some manuals recommend spraying the oil into the spark plug holes, while others recommend applying it throughout the entire carburetor.

Finally, dampen a clean cloth or rag with fogging oil. Cover any exposed engine parts with fogging oil to help protect them during storage.

Clean the Boat

The next step is probably the most arduous: cleaning the boat. Begin by removing anything unnecessary. This includes fishing gear, food, garbage, and other personal items. Here are some additional steps to help clean your boat, which will help protect it from damage, including mold and mildew growth:

  • Clean the carpeting. To clean the carpet, begin by dampening it with a garden hose. Next, grab an all-purpose carpet cleaner, and work it into the carpet fibers with a scrub brush. Finally, rinse away the shampoo and allow the carpet to dry.
  • Clean out the live wells. Live wells can also become covered with grime, mold, and mildew. Clean them by first draining the water. Next, wash the sides with vinegar and water or baking soda and water. Never use a strong chemical or bleach to clean out the live wells.
  • Clean the seats. Grab a product specifically designed to clean vinyl and wipe down your seats. If you have stubborn stains, use the product and a scrub brush. Once the seats are dry, cover them with a vinyl protectant.
  • Clean the console. A store-bought window cleaner is the easiest way to clean your console and gauges. Make sure to use a microfiber or other soft cloth for the gauges to avoid scratches.

The last step is to clean the hull. Grab a garden hose with a sprayer attachment or a power washer, and clean every square inch of the hull. Clean the hull with a sponge or rag and a commercial boat cleaner. Rinse off the hull and allow it to dry before applying a coat of wax, according to the package directions.

Prepping your boat before placing it into storage will help prevent corrosion, mold growth, and other damage.

At Sentry Mini-Storage, we have covered and uncovered boat storage options depending on your preference. We monitor our boat storage facilities through video surveillance and restrict access to the property and your belongings by maintaining gates requiring a unique access code. Our properties are fenced and lighted to protect further and monitor your boat so you can put your mind at ease.

Contact us at (727)845-1529 to inquire about our boat storage options or to learn more about our other services!