I know you don’t want to admit it, but the days are growing shorter, cooler and Old Man Winter is just around the corner. Yes, it has been a great year for taking your boat out on the water and trying out your angling skills against the feistiest of water creatures, but the time has come to put it all behind you, store your prized boat, and dream of next year.
Properly storing your boat has many benefits. While it may take a little time now to get the job done right, following good boat storing procedures can save you a great deal of headache and money when Spring comes and you once again take your beauty out onto the waters.
Proper boat storage only takes a little bit of your money and time to complete and keeps your inflatable boat in tip top shape and running like new. To get your boat ready for storage you will need: storage/fogging oil, fuel stabilizer, anti-corrosion spray, spray lube, trailer jack and tools.
Here’s how to store your boat the right way:
1. Fuel Stabilizer. In order to avoid condensation in your fuel tank and fuel lines, you need to add fuel stabilizer to your full tank of gas. First, fill up your tank completely with gasoline and add stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most products call for 1 ounce of stabilizer to every gallon of gas. Next, start the motor on the flusher for about one minute to push the treated gas throughout the system.
2. Fogging Oil. Apply fogging oil to the carburetors. Most motors have fittings for applying fogging oil. If yours does not you need to look for openings to apply the oil into. You might even have to remove the carburetor cover. Remember that the fogging oil will make the motor smoke more than normal on its first few runs.
3. Flusher. Next, unhook the flusher and drain the gear case. Refill it with fresh lubricant. If you notice water in the flushed lubricant, this could be a sign that your shaft seal needs replaced. If you suspect that it does, do not delay. A bad seal could cost you $1,000 or more in repairs if left alone. 4. Spark Plugs. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the cylinders. Clean the housing and coat electrical connections with anti-corrosion spray. Replace old spark plugs with new.
5. Inspect Steering. Inspect all of the cables on and in your steering column. Clean out all of the grime and let the shaft air out. Then, spray all cables with anti-corrosion spray.
6. Battery. Disconnect your battery and clean the terminals and spray with anti-corrosion spray. Properly store the battery and remember to put it on charge for a couple of days each month.
7. Motor. Store the motor in a downward tilted, running position and recover with the motor cover. Do not use a plastic cover which will trap moisture against your motor. Instead, use a cloth or canvas boat tarp that will allow the motor to breathe.
8. Trailer. Inspect the trailer and grease all of the bearings. Check the tires and spray anti-corrosive on any unprotected iron.
Now that you have properly stored your boat, you can finally relax and dream of all of the fishing legends that you will no doubt inspire in the upcoming season. And with all of the maintenance behind you, you may be able to hit the waters before your buddies even get their boats out from under wraps.