Updated: Nov 18, 2021
To many avid boaters, this scenario is very familiar: It’s the middle of summer, you’ve been out on the water all day, and it’s time to put the boat away. After a long day in the sun, it’s understandable that boat care and storage are not at the top of your priority list. Perhaps you moor the boat to a dock for the next few days and think, "that'll do". However, these next few days can mean loads of relentless UV exposure that will severely damage both the interior and exterior of your boat.
So how can you keep your boat well-maintained for both long and short-term storage? Well, first you’ll need to ask yourself the following questions: Do you need to store the boat temporarily or for a whole season? What is your budget? And will you need to work on your boat while it’s in storage?
If you don’t consider these questions seriously, it can impact the lifespan of your boat. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest mistakes when storing a boat and how to avoid them.
1. Not Covering the Boat
The ultimate cardinal sin for storing a boat is not covering it. It makes as much sense as leaving a convertible car outside with the top down while it’s raining – you just wouldn’t do it. A boat’s interior is designed to resist a certain amount of water during normal use (when swimming or wakeboarding or getting in and out). However, it is not designed to cope with massive amounts of water. Storms and rainy seasons will penetrate through the vinyl, seat foam, carpet, wood floor, etc. Once the upholstery is loaded with water, it will make the boat incredibly difficult to dry out and excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew damage.
Not covering a boat leaves it at the mercy of Mother Nature's brutality without protection. The sun’s rays, debris, and even animals can all deteriorate a boat over time, causing it to lose value and making it more likely to break down. Using the Komodo Cover is a great way to combat the elements. The cover is completely waterproof and maintains the ideal temperature and humidity inside the covered boat with the Kommander console.
2.Not Cleaning the Boat
When storing a boat it is vital to clean and dry it before putting it away, as you should avoid a dirty boat at all costs. Saltwater spray, food or fish particles, and any other material from a lake or the ocean can lead to corrosion of the interior and exterior of your boat.
Items that could contain wet fabric such as ropes, life jackets, clothes, and towels need to be taken out to keep out as much moisture as possible (this is critical for long-term storage). Additionally, if dirt is left on the boat then it can cause scratches and imperfections. Also, it will be harder to clean the boat when you take it out for the first cruise after several months.
3. Forgetting About the Engine and Systems
The engine is a particularly vulnerable part of the boat, especially if it’s in regular contact with salt water. It is smart to rinse the engine with water to remove the salt from the cooling system to prevent corrosion and possible mechanical failure. If the boat is at a freezing risk, be sure to run antifreeze through all the water systems, regardless of how long you are storing the boat. For long-term storage (anything over four months), it is important to use a fuel stabilizer so moisture doesn't get into your fuel tank.
If you haven’t realized this already...water is the enemy of boat storage! Check out our wide range of boat covers here.