Your boat inspection checklist for winter boat storage
Ready or not, winter is here. Depending on your region, the quality of the boat time can be greatly reduced or completely switched off. When it’s a grim time to store winter boats, a boat inspection checklist is a great way to make sure you aren’t missing anything that could add to spring downtime.
It may seem a bit ironic when a ship is built on the water, but an important part of any winter boat storage is keeping it and all of its components and accessories safe from water. There are several methods of covering a boat for the winter. Some boats are completely welded in. You can do this yourself by ordering the reels and a heat gun from a shipping company, but boatyards or marinas are likely to offer this service and are more experienced with winter boat storage.
Many boats have a cover for it that fits the Gunwale just like a fitted sheet. When it comes to winter outdoor storage, the boat inspection checklist makes it important to have some sort of support in the middle so that water, snow, and leaves don’t pile on top of it. Some boat owners only use a tarpaulin as a water protection cover. I even saw filled water jugs tied together at intervals to secure boat tarpaulins against wind and snow.
Or some, like local river angler Dave Sherman, can simply flip their boat over for winter storage. Before wrestling his 14-foot John boat upside down on its trailer, he works through his own boat inspection checklist and removes whatever he can. The seats, engine, gas tank, battery and even the boat connector are removed so that the rubber seal does not tear. Even though his boat is ready for the winter, I found that Dave wasn’t ready to put his boat away. “It was a sad day.
And then there are some, like me, who stubbornly try to have their boat ready at all times. As long as there is still space in the garage that could always be overrun by bicycles, garden chairs and garden tools, I cling to the hope of a warm period and a little open water. If the weather forecast really looks like I’m going to have to drill holes in ice for a few months, I’ll be going through my condensed boat inspection checklist to figure out how to store a boat in the garage for the winter, mostly blocking the Bootes is made with trailer tires and making sure that no random garage items pile up on them.
Water protection should be high on the boat inspection checklist when storing winter boats. Even though boats are on the water, if the water stays too long or arrives in the wrong places, your spring boat inspection will likely reveal more repair work than just renewing your boat registry.