How To Safely Store a Boat Outside

Storing your boat outside can be a practical solution, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Exposure to the elements can cause wear and tear, but with the right precautions, you can keep your boat in great condition. Here are ten essential tips to safely store your boat outside:

1. Choose the Right Location

Selecting a suitable storage location is crucial. Look for a spot that is elevated and away from trees to avoid falling branches and pooling water. Additionally, ensure the area is secure and less prone to theft or vandalism.

2. Invest in a High-Quality Cover

A high-quality boat cover is your first line of defense against the elements. Ensure the cover is waterproof, UV-resistant, and fits snugly over your boat. A well-fitted cover will protect your boat from rain, snow, sun, and debris.

3. Clean Your Boat Thoroughly

Before storing your boat, give it a thorough cleaning. Remove any dirt, grime, and saltwater residue, as these can cause corrosion and damage over time. Don’t forget to clean the interior, including upholstery and storage compartments.

4. Drain All Water Systems

Make sure to drain all water from the boat’s systems, including the engine, bilge, and plumbing. Water left in these areas can freeze and expand, causing significant damage during colder months.

5. Remove Valuables and Electronics

Take out any valuables, electronics, and personal items from the boat. This not only reduces the risk of theft but also prevents damage from moisture or temperature fluctuations.

6. Stabilize Fuel and Add Antifreeze

Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas tank to prevent the fuel from degrading over time. Additionally, run antifreeze through the engine and water systems to protect them from freezing temperatures.

7. Disconnect the Battery

Remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Keeping the battery disconnected prevents it from draining and protects it from temperature extremes.

8. Lubricate Moving Parts

Lubricate all moving parts, such as the steering system, throttle cables, and hinges. This helps prevent rust and ensures that everything operates smoothly when you’re ready to use the boat again.

9. Use a Boat Stand or Trailer

Elevate your boat off the ground using a boat stand or trailer. This prevents moisture from accumulating underneath and reduces the risk of hull damage. Make sure the boat is properly supported to avoid stress points.

10. Regularly Check on Your Boat

Even with all these precautions, it’s important to regularly check on your boat. Inspect the cover for any damage, make sure the boat is still securely fastened, and look for any signs of pests or water intrusion.

Storing your boat outside requires a bit of effort, but by following these tips, you can keep your vessel safe and sound until you’re ready to hit the water again.