Unless you live in a tropical zone, winterizing your boat is a big deal for boat owners around the world. There’s a lot to consider, but the first thing you need to decide is where your boat will stay during the cold months of the year. There are multiple options suited to different boat types, sizes and lifestyles.
If the temperatures in your area don’t fall below freezing, it may be a convenient and easy solution to keep your boat docked in the water. You will still have to pay docking fees, and your boat will be at the mercy of the water, but it provides easy access and less hassle come boating season. You may have to be wary of barnacle growth, however.
If you have space in your own garage or driveway, this is the most cost-effective option. Be sure to check with your neighborhood or Homeowner’s Association before doing so, just in case they have rules against it. Be sure you find a good boat cover if you are parking your boat outdoors.
If you don’t have space, one option is dry-rack storage, where many boats are stored in the same location on tall racks reached via marine boat lifts. These racks can either be indoors or outdoors. Dry-rack storage is usually conveniently located near to the water. However, they can be expensive and it will be difficult to access your boat while in storage. There are also storage yards available for boats, where you can either park in the open air or in a storage unit acting as a makeshift garage. These give you easier access, usually 24 hours, and can be less expensive.
To keep your vessel ship-shape when not in use over the winter, it should be stored properly. Once you make this decision, the rest is a breeze. If you’re still unsure which option is right for you, consult with your local marina or boat parts shop.