Winter Storage of Water Sports Equipment


By Heather Listhartke

Now that colder weather is upon us, we often think about winterizing our home, taking care of things outside like our pool and plants, etc. If you’re lucky enough to own any water equipment, like a boat or kayak, it’s time to store those items away safely.

1. Check Your Manual

Before you do anything, take a look at your manual for proper procedures so that you don’t do any damage to your water equipment or even break the warranty on it. If you have a boat, you also want to make sure that you have a system that will properly support it whether you’re transporting it or just keeping it where it is. Once you’ve got a plan in place, you can start the process of preparing it for storage.

2. Clean it

Give everything a good clean before storing it for winter. For boats, remove the bilge drain plug, and scrub the deck and hulls to remove all the grime. You’ll also want to leave sufficient time for the boat to dry before you put it into storage. Essentially, you’re cleaning everything inside and out and letting all the water drain.

3. Top it off

As with a vehicle, it’s also suggested that you top off the gas tank, add a gas stabilizer, and then allow the engine to run for about 15 minutes. This reduces the chance of condensation and makes sure that all the additives have gone through the entire fuel line and engine. You can also do any other maintenance such as flushing the coolant system, changing any belts, clamps, or hoses, replace all filters, and change the oil. At the same time, you can be cleaning out the head and other areas as well flushing them and intake lines, y-valve, macerator, discharge hose, and any other areas that typically pump or hold water with a non-toxic antifreeze.

4. Remove Electronics

Finally, it is suggested to remove all electronics including the battery to store them in a clean, dry, warm place for the season. You should also clean the battery terminals to remove corrosion, grease them lightly and give the battery a full charge.

Come spring time when everyone else is just thinking about all the stuff they need to do in order to get their boat ready for the new boating season, you’ll already be back on the lake enjoying it. You’ll also have the added bonus of knowing that your boat was properly taken care of and you prevented any major damage.

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