Whilst some of us use our boats regularly throughout the year, others only take them out on the water on a few occasions. Either way, they’re an expensive possession that needs taking care of at all times.
If you’ve just returned from your big summer holiday and it’s time to pack your boat away until next time, there are some key things you need to do before towing it along to a secure storage facility like Wilson Storage.
Whether you’re storing for a few months or until your next big holiday, follow our simple tips and your boat will be ready to set sail whenever you pick it up.
Fix any problems
It’s wise to take your boat out one last time and purposely look for problems that need fixing. Look for sail tears, worn rigging, hull cracks, loose fittings, fibreglass and varnish blistering, and so on.
Be thorough, make a list and fix everything on it. Just think how much smarter you’ll feel when you effortlessly hitch your boat to the car and drive to the water next time.
Give it a thorough cleaning
Salt water is a boat’s worst enemy and can cause untold corrosion, so give your boat a good wash down with a hose, scrub the decks and rid your boat of slime and dirt.
Drain the bilge and clean thoroughly, empty any waste in your waste water tank and give it a good clean.
After a thoroughly cleaning your boat inside and out, grease and oil all moving parts that require it. Make sure you do all of this well before putting your boat into storage, to give it all time to dry out completely beforehand.
Take care of your engine and motors
A little extra love for your engine will ensure it’s in tip-top condition when you need it next. It’s a good idea to add a good quality fuel stabiliser and top up your diesel to minimise the air gap in your tank – condensation build-up can be a pain down the track.
It’s important to run your petrol down to minimum levels as the additives in many fuels can result in damage to your engine over longer periods of storage.
Change your engine oil and replace your fuel filter with a fresh one if it’s been a while since you did so. And if you have outboard motors, clean, flush and lubricate them.
Check your electrics
Check all fuses, wiring and so on and replace accordingly. Remove all removable electrical equipment and keep them at home in a dry place. You should also give all connections and points a clean.
Batteries can be left on the boat, just make sure you charge them up before storing. And no matter where you store your boat, it’s wise to charge your battery every few months or so.
Follow these tips, along with your boat’s own cleaning and storage instructions, and your boat will be ready for action whenever the mood takes you.