How To Prepare Your Boat for Winter Storage

The following information is based on recommendations by the Boat Owners Association. Winterization should be done according to your manufacturer’s guide and will vary by engine type. We always recommend using a professional to ensure your winterization results in proper mechanical boat health. We recommend our partners at Sunshine Marine!

Step 1: Change Your Boat’s Oil

If water or acids have seeped into your oil, it could corrode your engine. Change the filter and flush it completely, ensuring absolutely no water remains, then add the new oil.


Step 2: Refresh the Coolant System

Drain out the current coolant, then flush completely with water. Fill with fresh antifreeze, but make sure you’ve diluted it to the manufacturer’s specification. This will prevent parts of your engine from freezing. A frozen engine can result in corrosion.


Step 3: Spray with Fogging Oil

Get your engine turning over without starting it. While it’s still turning over spray fogging oil into the carburetor or through the spark plug holes, following your manufacturer’s guide. This will keep your engine’s moving parts protected during the winter cold.


Step 4: Remove the Drive Belts

Drive belts may crack under the stress, when kept under tension for longer periods of time. Loosen or remove drive belts entirely before placing your boat in storage.


Step 5: Grease the Steering Mechanism

Get ‘er greasy! Greasing the steering and control mechanisms will make sure that they continue to move freely and smoothly next season.


Step 6: Disconnect the Battery

Disconnect the battery and top it off with distilled water. But don’t neglect it all winter. Don’t be afraid to charge it once in awhile, to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it back up to your boat. Not doing so may result in disappointment when you discover your battery is dead in the spring!


Step 7: Fill your Gas Tank

Filling up your fuel and adding a gasoline stabilizer will make sure your fuel is ready to use when spring comes back around. Not doing so is just one more way to increase probability of corrosion.


Step 8: Seal Exhaust Ports on Inboard Boats

If you don’t want mice making a home in your inboard powered boat, you’ll want to seal the exhaust port openings where pests can enter your engine!


Step 9: Take Care of the Interior

Electronics, leather, canvas, or fabric. Your boat contains many materials that can be highly affected by moisture; causing mold, mildew, or worse. This includes emptying water tanks, and run antifreeze through water pipes.


Step 10: Wash and Wax

Wax on! Wax off! A thorough cleaning and waxing will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s body, and is particularly important if you plan on storing your boat outside.


Step 11: Cover your Boat

There are few things better than rolling back a cover and seeing your boat has been protected from dirt, dust, grime and moisture! Without it, you could incur costly expenses.

Where Should I Store My Boat?

Your boat should always be stored properly to get the most life out of your boat. Sunshine Marina offers storage for most sized boats.

Covered Small Boat Storage

Options include:

  • 3 & 4 sided winter storage sheds (Max boat size 24 ft long, 11 feet high)
  • Large tents for up to 24 ft long. Rates starting from $750 for covered winter storage (9 months)
  • Navigloo tent system $600/winter. Custom/Exclusive to boat with concurrent winter storage (9 months) 
  • Summer shed rentals $60/month


Uncovered Small Boat Storage

Options include:

  • Open Winter $2/linear ft/month (September 15th to June 15th)
  • Open Summer $4/linear ft/month (June 15th to September 15th)


Houseboat Storage

  • Open Winter $4/linear ft/month
  • Open Summer $5/linear ft/month

Annual houseboat moorage clients storage is included in annual mooring fee. 


Boat Trailer Storage

  • Daily trailer storage $10/day
  • Monthly rates available upon request


Snow Removal for Houseboats/Small Watercraft/RV

  • $75/hour


Applicable taxes will apply. Winter storage fees are due by October 1st. Summer storage fees are due May 1 or in advance if by month. Storage does not include summer dock moorage. Interest of 2% will apply on all overdue accounts. SHVL reserves the right to update prices at any time without notice. Boats requiring greater heights for land storage are subject to special quotes. Insurance is the responsibility of the owner. All storage subject to limited availability.