When fishing and boating season is over, it's time to take your boat back to storage. Prepping it for storage in an indoor facility may be easier than prepping for outdoor storage, but there are still several things you should do before backing the boat into a self storage space. Use this guide to prepare your boat for indoor storage this fall.
Use a Cover
Boat covers seem like they are only for outdoor storage, but those protective covers that keep leaves and dirt out of boats can also be useful indoors. The covers create a layer of protection against dust, dirt, and even pests, keeping your boat in better condition throughout the winter. Be sure to choose a cover that offers a snug fit, and secure it in place so the cover stays put all winter through.
Before putting your boat into a boat storage unit, you'll want to make sure that everything is dry, from the deck to the cabin below. Moisture can get trapped underneath the boat cover, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Wipe everything down, including sinks inside the cabin, and use dehumidifying agents to keep the cabin dry. You can find dehumidifying products, such as silica gel, which can be placed throughout the boat to help absorb moisture. Visit the storage facility a few times during the winter months to switch out the dehumidifying agents to continue keeping the boat dry.
Add Bug Traps and Pest Protection
One way to avoid having an infestation of ants or other insects is to place a few bug traps around the interior of the boat. These traps can provide a way to minimize the threat of pests in the boat, keeping sensitive electronics, cabinets, and bathrooms ready for use in the spring. To prevent larger pests, such as mice or rats, be sure to secure cabinets and doors before putting your boat into storage. You can use simple rubber bands to prevent cabinet doors from opening easily, and doors can be simply closed to prevent access. Consider placing towels or other items near the bottom of any bathroom or closet doors to block any gaps between the doors and the floor. Be sure to close toilet lids as well. Child safety locks on the toilets can prevent small animals from getting inside the cabin's toilets. Mouse traps can also be a good option for pest control, but you'll want to check these frequently throughout the winter, as you won't want to discover full traps in the spring when you are ready to take your boat out on the water.
Before taking your boat in for winter storage, contact a boat cleaning company to do a thorough cleaning inside and out. This will keep the deck, hull, and cabin ready for use when winter is over.