Preparing Your Boat for Storage: A Comprehensive Guide

Preparing your Boat for Winter Storage

Smooth Sailing into Winter!

As winter approaches in Ireland, boat lovers must prepare their vessels for a much-needed break. In this guide, we'll teach you how to maintain your boat in good condition when you're not using it.

The Irish weather is variable. It requires careful planning and attention to detail. Whether you have experience at sea or are new to owning a boat, you must prepare.

Join us as we discover ways to safeguard your boat during the cold season. We will also explore proper techniques for winter storage. After reading, you'll be ready to handle boat storage and feel excited about the upcoming season on the water.

Here are some steps to help you get your boat ready for storage:

Clean Thoroughly

Start by giving your boat a good cleaning. Thoroughly eliminate any soil, debris, and residual saltwater. Clean the interior as well, including the cabin, upholstery, and any storage compartments.

Inspect for Damage

Carefully inspect your boat for any damage, such as cracks or dents in the hull, loose fittings, or damaged propellers. Address any issues before storage.

Engine Maintenance

Properly winterize the engine. This includes changing the oil, fogging the cylinders, and stabilizing the fuel. Be sure to follow the producer's recommendations.

Bilge and Water Systems

Empty the bilge and drain all water systems, including fresh water tanks, toilets, and plumbing. Add antifreeze to prevent freezing damage.

Electrical Systems

Disconnect and safely remove the boat's batteries. Store them in a cool, dry place and keep them charged to maintain their health.

Fuel System

If you plan to store your boat for an extended period, there are two options to prevent the fuel from deteriorating. The first option is to empty the fuel tanks completely. The second option is to use a fuel stabilizer. Both methods will effectively stop the fuel from getting worse during storage.

Cover It Up

Invest in a high-quality boat cover or shrink wrap to protect your boat from the elements. Make certain it's firmly secured, preventing any undue movement caused by wind.

Propeller and Outdrive

Apply grease to the propeller shaft and outdrive to prevent corrosion.

Remove Electronics

Remove any valuable electronics like GPS units, fishfinders, and radios to prevent theft and exposure to extreme temperatures.

Trailer Maintenance

If you plan to store your boat on a trailer, inspect the tires, bearings, and brakes. Additionally, apply lubrication to the trailer's moving components.


Ensure that there's proper ventilation inside the boat to prevent mold and mildew. Leave hatches and compartments slightly open if possible.

Secure the Boat

Ensure that you securely store the boat, either on a trailer or in a marina. Use adequate supports and chocks to prevent damage from shifting.


Keep a detailed checklist of all the steps you've taken for winterisation. When you decide to take your boat out again, you will have a clear recollection of the necessary steps for readiness.

The way you prepare your boat for storage depends on the type of boat and storage conditions. Always consult your boat's manual and consider seeking professional advice if you're unsure about any aspect of the process.