Whether you are going away for a while and want to ensure that your boat stays safe and secure, or if the winter season means that you need to put your boat away to prevent environmental damage, boat storage can fulfill all of your needs. However, to ensure that your boat is in peak operating condition when you eventually take it out of storage again, there are a few simple maintenance and repair tasks that you should undertake first.
One Last Outing
The first thing that you should do before you put your boat into storage should be the one last run in your boat. Taking the boat out can allow you to check all of the systems and areas of your boat to determine what, if anything, is malfunctioning and in need of repair. Having rust spots, low oil, and other mechanical and structural issues dealt with before you put your boat into storage ensures that they will not deteriorate further while your boat is sitting idle.
Once you've identified and completed potential repairs, the next step should be to clean out the boat. On a basic level, this means removing all of the gear (and particularly the food, if applicable) from the interior of your boat, and wiping down all the surfaces to prevent staining and damage. You should also take care to open the seacocks and remove the bilge plug to clean out those areas, and to power wash (if you're able to remove your boat from the water) the hull of your boat to remove stuck on algae, seaweed, and any other debris which may be there. In a similar vein, you should also apply a coat of protective wax over the exterior of your boat before you move it into a storage unit or rack — this can prevent rusting and corrosion, and ensures that your boat continues to look as good as possible as well.
Proper Storage Techniques
When choosing a storage unit for your boat, try to prioritize an indoor storage facility — either with dry storage racks, or individual storage units — since these will ensure that moisture damage and temperature fluctuations will have a minimal effect on the surface and structural integrity of your boat. Further, you will want to cover your boat with a tarp that will keep out moisture and pests which may find their way into your storage unit.