Tips for Getting Your Boat Ready for Storage
When winter comes and you are no longer able to enjoy your boat it is important that you spend some time getting your boat ready for storage. Storing your boat for the winter or long periods without use is much different than storing your boat in between outings. During long periods between boat use following a boat storage routine is the best way to ensure the continued usefulness and reliability of your boat. If you are new to long term boat storage our tips will help make getting your boat ready for storage quick and easy. One of the first things that you should do when preparing your boat for storage is stop condensation from forming in the fuel lines and tank of your boat. To do this you must fill your boats gas tank up completely and then add a good fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank. The instructions for adding fuel stabilizer vary from manufacture to manufacture. For this reason it is extremely important that you follow the instructions provided on the fuel stabilizer container with no deviations. Do not make the mistake of assuming that all fuel stabilizers are the same because that is simply not the case. Once you have filled your boats fuel tank up completely and added the stabilizer start the boats motor on flusher and let it run for about one minute so that the new fuel with the stabilizer can work its way through your boats system. Next you must apply fogging oil to the boats carburetors. Many boats have a fitting for applying fogging oil and you will need to read your boats manufactures guide to find out where it is. In the event that your boat does not have a fogging oil fitting then you will need to find a good place to apply the oil on your own or with the help of someone who is comfortable with boats. Some find it easiest to just remove the carburetor cover for application. Once the fogging oil is applied to your dormant boat expect the motor of the boat to smoke a great deal when it is next used. This is perfectly normal and not a sign of anything wrong. In fact, expect for the boat motor to smoke excessively for the first few uses after the fogging oil is applied. Fogging oil must also be applied to the cylinders before the boat is put into storage. This can be done by removing the spark plugs and spraying the fogging oil directly into the cylinders. Replace the spark plugs that you have removed with brand new spark plugs. Also take some time to clean the housing of your boat and use anti corrosion spray on all electrical connections. When you are done spraying the electrical connections of your boat with anti corrosion spray check the steering cables in and on the steering columns of your boat. Clean off any dirt or residue that has built up and air the shaft out completely. When you are finished spray all of the cables with anti corrosion spray. Taking the time to do this will help you avoid corrosion issues when the time comes to start using your boat again. After the fogging oil has been applied it is time drain and completely flush out the boats gear case. This can be done by unhooking the flusher and then draining the gear case. Check the flushed lubricant for water and if water is in the lubricant replace your shaft seal immediately. Do not wait until you return from your trip or spring has come to replace this seal since neglecting this seal can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs. After the lubricant has been completely drained and the shaft seal has been replaced (if necessary) refill the gear case with fresh lubricant. One of the last things you should do when getting your boat ready for storage is disconnecting your boats battery. Remove the battery from the boat and carefully clean all of its terminals. Then spray the terminals with some of your anti corrosion spray and store the battery in a safe, warm, place that no one sleeps in. While your boat is in storage it is important that you charge your battery for several days each month to keep the battery in working condition. When the time comes to officially store the boat place the motor in the downward running position and cover it. Use a motor cover that is not made of plastic since this will lead to a build up of moisture. Always use canvas coverings that let the motor breath while it is in storage. Lastly, grease all of the bearings of your boat if it is kept on a trailer and spray all unprotected metal parts of your boat with the anti corrosion spray. Once you have followed all of the boat storage tips outlined above you will be able to rest knowing that your boat will be in good condition when the time comes to resume regular use.
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