No matter if you enjoy boating during the hot, sunny days of summer or during the winter, when the waters are decidedly less busy, it’s important that all boaters properly store their boats and safety equipment.
Before reading the following tips, think about what maintenance routine you perform when putting away your boat for the season. Do you already run through a mental checklist? Here are our tips that could save you time, money, and maybe a pesky headache when you’re ready to take the boat out next time!
- Battery: Remove your battery and store it somewhere warm and dry.
- Bilge Drain Plug: Remove the bilge drain plug and drain your boat of any excess water.
- Gas Tank: According to Boating Magazine, it is recommended that you top off your gas tank and also consider adding a gas stabilizer to prevent condensation buildup. After adding the stabilizer, you should run the engine for at least 15 minutes.
- Hull: If your hull has any damage either from sun, water, or other elements, make sure to repair it before putting it in storage as it may become worse with time.
- Trailer: Check that all lights work properly and keep the trailer somewhere safe and dry. Check for any corrosion on the trailer parts and replace if necessary.
- Restock: Add equipment to your first aid kit, check flares and fire extinguishers for expiration dates and replace if necessary, calibrate carbon monoxide detector for accuracy.
- Life Jackets: Perhaps most importantly, check all life jackets for erosion and tearing. If necessary, replace them. If they are still in good shape, store them in a dry place to prevent deterioration during the off-season. Click here for tips on performing routine maintenance on inflatable life jackets.
We hope these tips will protect your boat and will also get you back on the water, doing what you love, as fast as possible.
Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates and is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow Wear It! on Facebook and Twitter: facebook.com/safeboatcampaign and twitter.com/boatingcampaign.
Media Contact: Diane Corish, National Safe Boating Council, firstname.lastname@example.org, (703) 361-4294