If you have a boat that needs to be stored during the off-season, there are some ways you can prepare it first. It is important to do this, otherwise it might not be in the best condition when you go to retrieve it. These tips are good whether storing it at a local boat storage facility, self-storage unit, or the harbor.
Change the Fluids
When preparing a boat for storage, it is a good idea to start by checking and changing the fluids. This will allow you to start with fresh fluids so that it remains in good condition while being stored, especially if it will be stored for a long period of time. This means checking the water and coolant system, and adding antifreeze as needed. Also change the oil so old oil doesn't cause corrosion of the engine. When you are checking the different fluids, also look for signs of a leak. These may need to be addressed before continuing.
Get the Engine Ready
In addition to changing the fluids, there are other ways to get the boat's engine ready. Antifreeze is a good start, but you also need to protect the engine from getting too rusty. You can do this by using a fogging spray you get at any auto or boat supply store. You will first need to turn on the engine of the boat to let it heat up for a few minutes. Then you will spray the engine with the fogging spray while the engine is running. Make sure the air filters are removed before spraying the fogging spray. This will protect the engine from rust if the boat ends up being stored for a long period of time. A boat mechanic can help you with this if you are not sure how to do it properly.
If you have a stern drive engine, make sure the water pump is drained before storing the boat.
Clean it Inside and Out
You have probably already removed items from your boat before storage, such as fishing equipment and diving supplies, but you also need to clean the boat's surface. Sine it might be stored for a few months or longer, any dirt, dust, or buildup on the boat's surface can lead to mold or mildew. To prevent this, clean all surfaces of the boat, starting from the interior. Make sure when cleaning it that all surfaces are dried completely. Repeat the process for the exterior of the boat before storing it. Pay special attention to the hull and deck of the boat, as a lot of grime can get built up in these areas.