Boat Storage Tips: 15 To-Dos Before Summer’s End

Boat Storage and Prep Tips for WinterIndoor storage is ideal for boat owners who want to protect their investment. With an indoor vehicle storage unit, both the temperature and humidity are set, preventing freezing and excess moisture accumulation on your boat.

Without proper preparation, however, interior or exterior parts may become damaged—even indoors. To prevent a disappointment and extra work next boating season, keep our list of 15 must-dos handy when prepping your boat for indoor storage.

Prep Inside & Out

The work you put in now can save you time and money next season. Consider the following to get your boat ready for storage now, which will help decrease prep next season as well.

  1. Research indoor storage facilities. Consider options that that work best with your location and provide convenient waterway access.
  2. Have your boat mechanically serviced by a professional to check the cooling system, fresh water lines and fuel tanks.
  3. Remove the battery, and store it outside of the boat.
  4. Repair any exterior dings or cracks.
  5. Update your vehicle’s license and insurance information. Some storage facilities require these items before storing.

Clean & Protect

Finish the season by giving your boat some well-deserves TLC. Being up close and personal with your boat now will also let you examine any damages that may have occurred this season so you don’t have surprises later on.

  1. Wash and wax your boat’s exterior after your last summer ride.
  2. Remove cushions and other items that could be damp and cause mildew. Clean as needed, and store outside of the vehicle.
  3. Clean interior carpets and floors.
  4. Use a marine protectant specific to boat vinyl to preserve the upholstery.
  5. Ensure your bilge spaces (lower compartments) are clean and free of oil.

Maintain for Longevity

Regularly maintained boats last longer. Incorporate the following five steps into your regular maintenance routine at summer’s end.

  1. Properly support the hull when storing indoors to prevent physical cracking or engine misalignment.
  2. Test all electronics, and replace as needed.
  3. Grease all bearings, and prep any unprotected metal parts with an anti-corrosion spray.
  4. Change the oil twice a year—once before storing your boat, and once after taking it out.
  5. Cover the boat with a well-made, ventilated canvas. Even indoors, it’s important to protect the waterline from dirt and dust.

Enjoy Smooth Sailing

There are a number of storage options available for boat owners. While each has its advantages, there’s no contest that a climate-controlled storage unit, provides more protection from the elements when compared to outdoor storage. Consult a storage professional if this is your first storing season to ensure your boat receives proper care.

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Photo Credit: bazylek100


  1. Lillian Schaeffer's avatar
    Lillian Schaeffer
    | Permalink
    These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to change the oil before storing your boat. With fall here, my husband and I are going to be putting our boat in a self storage unit so it's out of the way while we're not using it. We'll definitely make sure to change the oil before we put it away, and we'll also do that next year when we take it out again. Thanks for the great post!
  2. Norm Kotoch's avatar
    Norm Kotoch
    | Permalink
    Thanks for taking the time to read this post, Lillian. I’m very glad you found these tips useful. Proper preparation is a key step in ensuring your boat’s longevity while in storage and for future use.
  3. Judy's avatar
    | Permalink
    Whether you have a waterfront property or have to store your boat at a marina, using a floating boat lift is the best way to store it.
  4. Norm Kotoch's avatar
    Norm Kotoch
    | Permalink
    Thanks for the helpful tip, Judy!
  5. Dean Cullon's avatar
    Dean Cullon
    | Permalink
    Wash and wax can protect the outer surfaces of the boat for long before storing. Greasing is the best option to protect internal parts. Thanks for sharing these tips.

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