Checking on Your Boat in Winter Storage


The time to take your boat out of storage is coming, but in the meantime you should pay it a visit to avoid costly mishaps!

You’ve winterized your boat. It’s covered up, and you won’t be heading to prepare it for at least a month. There’s nothing to worry about, right? Well, not exactly.

While your boat is sitting in winter storage, there are a few threats that could make for a not so nice surprise come boating season. Don’t fret: if you make a point to check on your boat soon, you should be able to maintain peace of mind, knowing that you avoided these potential mishaps. Not only is this preventative, but folks should also check on their boat to figure out if there will be repairs, restocking or anything else needed BEFORE starting on the de-winterization list.

Snow Buildup

Even a properly covered boat can be susceptible to the elements. Too much snow and ice on the cover can cause a collapse, leaving the cabin vulnerable to snow and other weather-related damage.

Burst Hoses

Water seeping into your boat is a concern on its own, but water can be more dangerous when it freezes. Any water left in a hose runs the risk of causing a break once it becomes solid. Hopefully, the hoses were properly cleared before you stored the boat, but now is a good time to check their condition. Even if damage has occurred, you may be able to prevent it from getting worse.

Exterior Damage

If your boat is exposed during storage, it may be subject to harsh winds. This is a problem if your tarp isn’t secured well or if it has an abrasive surface. A bunch of snow in the cabin or a scratched up finish can be prevented with proper winterization and making sure to pay your boat a visit.

Fire Onboard

Leaving bulbs on to keep bilges, or the lowest compartments of the boat, warm seems like a smart idea, but the heat from these lights can be a serious fire hazard. A space heater left in the boat to make sure everything is dry is an even worse idea. If either of these scenarios describe your storage method, your boat could be in real danger.

Don’t let small issues or hidden damages get out of hand and jeopardize your boat. Take a little time to check on it, and with proper planning and a little luck, it’ll be in great condition come spring/summer. It won’t hurt anything, and the time it will take is worth knowing that your watercraft is intact.

If you have any additional questions about winterizing or storage, we are happy to help at We can’t wait to get back on the water!

Read more from the Boater Rewards February Newsletter: