Black ATX logo on the back of a surf boat
Boating, Maintenance, Off the Water

Prepping Your Boat for Storage

When the weather is hot, the best place to be is on the lake. Sun, surf, and some good company is the best way to pass the dog days of summer. But, in order to be ready for the dog days, you have to make sure your boat is in peak condition—especially as it goes into storage. Once your boat has been diligently taken care of and is tucked away in storage, you can breathe easy knowing that it will be there for you next season! 

Many new boat owners aren’t aware that improperly storing your boat can cause damage. One of the biggest risks to a boat in the off-season is condensation and grime build-up in the engine. Condensation can cause rust if not avoided. 

So, what sort of things does a responsible boat owner need to do before storing a boat? If you’re asking yourself that, you are in the right place! Here are the top seven things you need to do to prep your boat for storage. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive so it’s best to check with a professional if you are unsure. Please note: there maybe be additional things that you need to do if you boat in saltwater as it tends to be more corrosive. 

Prepping Your Boat for Storage

  1. Clean your boat from top to bottom. This may seem obvious but it’s essential. You don’t want grime or buildup eating away at your boat all winter long. When you are done, make sure to dry it thoroughly to avoid the much-dreaded condensation. A coat of wax is recommended.
  2. Change the oil. Just like your daily driver, your boat needs new oil. This serves to protect the engine from condensation. Don’t forget to change the filter while you are at it! New oil with an old filter doesn’t make any sense. Some boaters prefer to change the oil at the beginning of the season, not the end. If that’s you, just make sure to use an oil stabilizer. 
  3. Next, you will want to fog out the engine. This will keep the moving parts of the engine safe in the colder weather. 
  4. Disconnect the battery. Some boat owners take the battery home with them over the winter so they can charge it up every now and then. Others have a storage facility that will do that for you. Either way, you don’t want to crank your engine first thing in the summer only to hear an engine that won’t turn over. 
  5. Grease the control mechanism. By this point, you know the drill, condensation: BAD! Grease will keep the menace out of the important control mechanism. 
  6. Use a quality boat cover. Quality covers will keep out rain and sun. It’s best to find one that fits your boat snuggly instead of trying to make do with a generic cover or tarp. 
  7. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Ask one of our in-house boating enthusiasts or check out this helpful video!  


Boat maintenance is absolutely necessary but doesn’t have to be overwhelming. In fact, you might even come to really like taking care of your boat at the end of the season. 


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