How to Store Self Store your Boat

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There is an old saying that goes, "The happiest day of my life (as a boat owner) was the day I bought my boat; the second happiest - the day I sold it!" But you are still in the first phase of boat ownership…and you need to store your boat for the winter. So, what are your options?

Today, an increasing number of boat owners are using self storage facilities for their wintertime boat storage, finding this option to be ideal, both from a security and "boat preservation" standpoint. Winterizing your boat is a crucial step in preparing your boat for winter storage. Below is a list of steps to follow prior to taking your boat to a self storage unit. This process should include (but is not limited to) the following:

• Detailing (including compounding, waxing and vinyl cleaning);
• "Flush Out" - it is never a good idea to leave any boat fuel tank full of ethanol while in storage, because ethanol absorbs water out of the atmosphere, which can result in rust in your boat's engine;

• Odor prevention - place multiple open containers of baking soda in different areas of your boat to combat unpleasant aromas.
• Desiccate bags - alleviate odors occurring from mold and mildew, as well as repelling bugs, mice, and other rodents from your boat;
• Covering your boat tightly before placing it in boat storage will help in keeping moisture out;
• Grease - the shaft; fittings and steering system;
• Disconnect battery(s);
• *Consider replacing the water pumps (if recommended 2-year replacement period has expired…if not now, then when you take it out of storage in the spring…)

When considering inside storage for your large boat, scrutinize the size of facility to ensure the doors are all wide and high enough for your vessel to enter the bay without damage. The advantage of inside storage - it protects your boat from inclement weather conditions; some facilities are even heated (although this is not necessary for storing your boat!) Different storage facilities offer varying storage options, depending on the type of boat you are planning to store. As is the case when storing any other valued possession, you should decide exactly how long you will be storing your boat before you even begin researching facilities. This will enable you to be clear on your timeframe and the flexible leasing options you seek.

Finally, you should feel comfortable with the security arrangements of the storage facility you select. On-site management and state-of-the-art security will go a long way in providing peace of mind to the boat owner until the next boating season begins!

John Stevens is an outdoor enthusiast, who, after many years in the corporate world finds himself enjoying a slower pace by doing some freelancing, journaling and blogging about a myriad of subjects ranging from sports to storage and all things in between.

John is exploring the business of storage and also looking into self storage in San Jose.

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