Winter Boat Storage…three words every boater hates!

It’s that time of year again.  After a summer that never seemed to happen this year, it’s time to start thinking about storage options for your boat during the blustery months of winter.  Generally, there are three options available, and each option certainly comes with its benefits.

Heated Indoor Storage:

The name says it all.  Your boat is kept indoors in a climate controlled environment – usually uncovered to allow for good air circulation.  This helps to alleviate massive temperature fluctuations, which is certainly beneficial to the integrity of your hull life, but is it worth it?  If you’re willing to pay the higher rate, and you feel it’s best for your boat, then absolutely!  One thing to remember, however, a heated facility is not reason to avoid winterizing your engine.  Although the temperature stays above freezing, and therefore the risk of a cracked block isn’t cause for concern, leaving water in your engine & block for the duration of the storage term, just sitting there, can do a lot of damage from the inside by causing rust and corrosion.  Will your boat still start in the spring – sure will!  But be prepared to deal with a lot of brown thick chunky liquid running through your engine, and ask yourself – is this a good thing?!

Unheated Indoor Storage:

If you’re a boater who likes to keep his/her boat indoors, the unheated option is certainly the popular choice.  Staying free & clear of the blustery wind & snow is ideal, and despite the temperature fluctuations, protection from the elements with the ability to remain uncovered, certainly aids in keeping your boat looking great!  Provided your engine (and any water systems on board) have been properly winterized, the cold temperatures are no problem.

Outdoor Shrink Wrapped:

By far, the most affordable option…BUT, if it’s not done right, there is no doubt a huge risk of mold/mildew growing in your boat, and getting very comfortable!  The boat must be dry prior to wrapping in order to avoid it becoming a greenhouse.  In a perfect world, having your boat sit uncovered in the nice warm sun for a few dry days in a row is ideal, but we all know that Mother Nature usually has her own agenda, especially in the fall.  Things to consider if you choose to wrap your boat:

  1. The ability to dry your boat thoroughly – prior to wrapping, we bring all boats inside and until they’re dry, we don’t wrap ’em!
  2. Mold/Mildew treatment options – once the boats are dry, we treat them with mold/mildew protection so that even if the tiniest bit of moisture remains in a dark corner, nothing will grow.
  3. Colour of the wrap – white wrap (instead of blue wrap) doesn’t pull the heat in from the sun, minimizing the contained heat under the wrap, and ultimately minimizing a good growing environment.
  4. Venting – the key to a healthy stored boat is air flow; providing lots of vents to the wrap keeps the air moving inside.

With these preventative steps in place, wrapping your boat for the winter and storing outdoors is certainly a reliable and cost effective alternative to indoor storage, leaving more money in your pocket to enjoy your boat out on the water – where it belongs!!