How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter

Winter can be tough on us all. This is especially true for our boats! Periods of inactivity can speed up degradation and result in some nasty surprises come springtime. We’ve all heard the adage, “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine.” This blog post introduces some of the essentials in off-season boat storage, so you can better ensure it stays in prime condition over the cold winter months.


We can not overstate the importance of making sure your boat and all the accessories are clean and dry. Inside and out. Besides preventing corrosion of all sorts, a good thorough clean allows you to identify any blistering, peeling, or other wear-and-tear that may have gone unnoticed in the busy summer. Catching these problems early allows you the opportunity to fix them before they become a major issue.

Boat storage for winter


2. Take Care of Your Engines.

Start with a detailed cleaning and inspection.
Remember to change your engine oil, as well as the oil in the leg, clean or replace fuel filters, and remove gum, varnish, and carbon deposits. Aerosol carbon cleaners are an easy and common solution to build-up in marine engines. Many marine supply and home hardware stores keep these in stock. A full fuel tank will also help avoid the build-up of condensation.

3. Lubricate.

Almost any moving metal part will benefit from a healthy dose of lubricant. This includes all the little things like latches and hinges. This will help displace moisture and help curb the corrosive effects of rust. Make sure to clean off access afterwards.

4. Consider your Storage Options.

We don’t always have access to indoor storage for something as large as a boat over the winter. If you do, great! Running a small space heater will help protect against moisture. If you don’t, you may want to consider investing in a custom-fitted covering and/or a protective canopy to keep out wind, rain, snow, and sunlight. They can be expensive, but may also prevent some costly damage in the long run. Heavy tarps also work as a more cost effective option. Regardless of your storage situation, make sure to keep a close eye on your boat over the winter months.

5. Take Home Everything you Can.

Hauling auxiliary things to and from your boat can be a pain. However, storing as much as possible indoors, especially when it comes to life-saving equipment such as GPS systems and radios, lends some extra piece of mind for next season. We also recommend removing batteries and placing them on a trickle charger over the winter.

6. Prepare for Next Summer.

Finally, make the most of the winter months by preparing for next summer! Winter can be a great time to make additions and upgrades to your boat to ensure you are good to go when the thaw comes. Adventure Marine can help with that. Our knowledgeable staff can take what you learned about your boat over the summer and suggest improvements. Even if we don’t sell the product, we want to make sure you are getting the most out of your boat. Check out our post on Flood Preparedness for info on how best to prepare for the possibility of springtime flooding. Also, stay tuned for a blog series on how best to set up your boat for hurricane season and other natural disasters.
From the Adventure Marine family,
Happy Boating!