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    If you have a boat you know the need to have a safe dry place to store it during the Winter months or times when it is not in use. Whether you choose to store your vessel indoors or outdoors, you must ensure that your boat is adequately prepared before doing so. This will assist in preventing damage to the boat’s exterior, interior, and motor. Here are four issues to be aware of.

    You Will Need to Prep

    The best place to begin when prepping your boat for storage is by cleaning the outside and inside with fresh clean water. The goal is to keep your boat looking as shiny and new for as long as possible but also a clean boat saves on fuel cost, and prevents pollution of frequently used waterways. After hosing down your boat, use a specialized boat cleaner to lather the exterior and eliminate any stuck on debris or dirt. You want to be sure when using any cleaning products that they are safe and nontoxic. 

    Winter Storage

    You have options when deciding where to store your boat. You have dry and wet options but most of the time the dry options are cheaper and safer. During the winter, storing your boat inside is usually always the better choice but if that’s not possible be sure your boat is protected from the weather. Ice and snow will degrade the boat’s colors, and corrode essential boat parts. Before storing your boat, it’s always best to refer to the owner’s manual for any crucial storing tips. 

    Whether you decide to store your boat inside or outside, a boat cover is the best solution in either situation. Covers are pretty important when it comes to storing your boat and safeguarding it from the weather. Many different boat coverings are available, but we recommend using a plastic tarp if storing indoors.

    If you need something for outdoor boat storage, you should spend a bit extra and purchase a fitted boat cover. A  cover will ensure your boat will not be exposed to the elements that can and will destroy it. It also ensures that your boat’s paint and exterior will be in good shape for the following boating season.

    Animals and Insects 

    Winter poses a significant hazard to boat owners who do not properly store their vessels. When it’s chilly outside, animals and insects search for a warm haven to spend the winter and will inhabit unoccupied boats. Meanwhile, they will  eat anything they can find aboard the boat, potentially damaging the cushions and wiring. Some easy fixes are to ensure that all entry ways are fully covered and that the vessel is lifted off the ground high enough to prevent easy access. 

    The biggest tip is to make  sure your boat is clean and free from food and spills before storing. You can also use sound devices or pest repellents inside and around the outside of the boat such as pellets, fragrant dryer sheets or moth balls as a deterrent. 

    At Home Storage

    Keeping a boat in a driveway is a low-cost and convenient choice for most boat owners. Besides protecting from the elements the other thing to think about is theft. Thieves can easily drag your vessel away in the middle of the night. A good solution would be to store your boat in a quality storage shelter. Out of sight out of mind. If they can’t see it, it’s less likely to be stolen. 

    There are some things that you can do to deter theft or lead to the apprehension of your property if stolen. Park your vehicle in front of the boat or storage shelter to make it harder to steal.

    Also, you can install an anti-theft device such as a kill switch or tracking system on the vessel itself. Installing motion lights or cameras outside your home can be helpful in alerting you if someone is prowling around or attempting to steal something from your property.

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