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When it’s time to store your boat for the winter, sit down with a member of the marina’s staff and discuss what you can expect to have done. Most marinas are prepared to service your boat efficiently, but you are responsible for seeing that all work is done. Ask that they call you when the winterizing is complete.

Make sure to flush all water and fuel lines, fog the engine and treat the fuel. Double check that no items were left aboard and remove your electronics that could be affected by storage. Leave drawers and hatches open for ventilation if practical. It’s a good time to apply lubricant to hinges and clasps on doors. Ask about having a coat of wax applied; it will protect the hull from winter stains.

When storing your boat outside, make sure all the limber holes are cleaned to avoid trapping moisture or debris. Plug or tape exhaust outlets to prevent critters from nesting. Verify that the boat is set level to prevent hull warping. If you’re covering with shrink wrap or canvas, it must be air-tight. Put some charcoal, or absorbent (kitty litter) to ensure no moisture collects. Make sure your cover cannot sag and allow water to fill pockets. If you use canvas or a tarp – throw lines over it and fasten to the trailer.

Whether doing your own winterizing and storing or having your marina do it – don’t just walk away and not visit your boat until spring. Check to ensure all is well so you don’t have a problem that will hold up your launch.

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