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An introduction to winter boat storage

Pull it out – Dry it out – Keep it undercover. Keeping your boat protected in winter adds life and retains value.

If the weatherman said, “There’s a storm coming!” you would most likely go to the dock to check on your boat. If NOAA sent out a storm surge warning you would most likely move your boat out of harms way. Boat owners can’t always be ahead of Mother Nature to protect their vessels but there is one thing boat owners do have control over when it comes to the elements: winter.

We know it’s coming, every year like clockwork. Seasoned owners know the drill: pull it out, dry it out, keep it under cover. New boat owners beware; winter boat storage is something not to be taken lightly. Every boat should be protected during the long winter months; even commercial freighters take shelter in harbors on the Great Lakes!

Winter boat storage means something different to everyone, because there are so many ways to do it. First, take in to consideration where you live. If you’re in Florida this is probably something you don’t have to worry about. If you dock your boat on the ocean in Cape Cod, you may want to pull it out of water. If your boat is nestled in a quiet cove on a lake in North Carolina, you may want to cover it up but leave it in the water. Your location will determine what kind of winter weather you need to protect your boat from. The second thing to consider is your boat. The vessel in question will determine costs and winter storage logistics. Third, decide which winterizing option works for you. It is possible to do it yourself, but this isn’t recommended to first timers, as you can cause significant damage to your investment.

To get started, research what is available in your area, talk to dock masters and see what they recommend. Remember that the best research is done on the dock in July – ask fellow boaters what they do; chances are you’re in the same boat come November.

Below are a few helpful links to get you started:

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