Fall is fast approaching and it’s time to think about closing up the lake house and getting the boat ready for winter storage. A little effort to clean and prepare for next year will not only extend the life of your boat but you’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartache come next summer. Here are five quick tips based on our experience winterizing boats.
Step 1: Clean and Sweep
Clean and sweep the interior removing those soggy chips and random spills. Wipe down the seats and all surfaces and double check compartments for any biomass. Biomass is food to mold and mildew. Beverage spills, chips, crackers, Popsicle wrappers and even pollen are examples of biomass that need to be removed to prevent mold and mildew.
It’s also a good idea to double check every compartment and remove ANY food left behind, not just to prevent mold growth but also to prevent critters from smelling it and destroying your cover to get to the food.
Step 2: Dry Interior
Make sure the interior is dry before covering. A Transhield cover will remove a little moisture from the interior to prevent mold and mildew, but other methods may not do this.
Step 3: Create Breathable Spaces
Open up the ski locker and seat cavities (storage compartments)to keep air moving through them. Keep the seats turned up during storage to let the cavities breathe. Life preservers can be hung on the upright seat cushions or anywhere throughout the boat to keep them fresh and dry.
Step 4: Engine Care
Make sure your engine is properly winterized. There are numerous articles and internet videos that teach you how to do it yourself. You can even subscribe to a complete do-it-yourself video program called Ship Shape TV for detailed instructions and DIY methods for maintaining, repairing or even rebuilding your boat.
Step 5: Cover
And finally, cover your boat. It is best to use a cover that is slippery or has a non-textured exterior so that snow and ice slide off easily. Transhield covers and shrink wrap are both slippery causing snow and ice to slide right off. A mooring cover is textured and will cause the snow to stick to the cover. This can lead to excessive weight and damage to the cover if snow is not removed regularly.
If you choose to cover with a Transhield cover, you can purchase them through Amazon. We've got some How-To videos posted on YouTube. Keep in mind that you do not have to shrink a Transhield cover if you don't want to. Just be sure to have the proper support structure installed so that water does not pool and weight down the cover. Our YouTube videos will show you how to build your own support structure in addition to how to measure your boat to purchase the right size cover and how to install a Transhield cover.
Whether you winterize your boat yourself or have it done by your local marina, it is well worth your time to clean and prepare your boat before covering it. A little effort now will save you a lot of effort later. Let us know your winterization tricks of the trade. Share them with us or contact us with any questions.