Two Ways You Can Damage Your Boat By Storing It Improperly In The Winter

For people who live in parts of the country that dip below freezing temperatures in the winter time, winterizing a boat is one of the most important aspects of maintenance. Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to make mistakes when prepping a boat for the winter if you're not familiar with the process. Here's a look at two of the most common mistakes that people make with boat winterizing.

Even if you live in an area that doesn't usually see freezing, it's still important to winterize a boat. The Boat Owners Association of the United States says they receive insurance claims every year from boaters who live in southern states that never expected a freeze.

#1: Leaving the boat with the engine tilted up

Most of the time, leaving a boat stored with the engine in an upward position isn't too much of a problem. It's usually safer that way, and makes for less of a chance that something will get dinged in the move. But when storing for the winter, a boat's engine needs to be turned downward. This helps make sure all of the water is able to drain from the engine. In the up position, water can remain in the engine lines, where it could easily freeze and cause damage. And even if an engine is completely drained of water, leaving an engine turned up can leave a space for snow or rain to leak in and then freeze.

#2: Not filling up the fuel tank as much as possible

When winterizing a boat, it's always a good idea to put as much fuel in as possible with just a little room left over for expansion. The more fuel that's inside, the less room there is for condensation to form on the inside and then freeze. The only catch here though may be if your boat is stored inside a marina, there may be a rule about storing a boat with fuel because of a fire risk.

When it comes to making sure a boat is ready for the winter, one of the biggest things an owner can do is to have it professionally stored. A boat storage facility, such as Riverside Marina, may be temperature controlled, but even if it's not, there are likely people on hand that know how to take care of a boat in the winter. Instead of looking for "tips and tricks" that could leave your boat damaged, just trust the professionals.