Storing Your Yacht

Whether you are storing your yacht for the long or short term and it is time to protect your boat from the elements which include Sun and Heat in the summer months and wind, rain and cold in the winter months.

During the winter months the safest place for your boat is out of the water, although hauling, transport and storage can prove rather expensive. A cheaper option is to shrink-wrap the boat or, if you’re on a really tight budget, at least use some other type of cover such as a tarpaulin to keep nature out. Allow for some air circulation under the cover to prevent mildew.

During the summer months protection from the sun and heat is extremely important.

Storing Your Boat Out Of The Water

If you’ve chosen to store your boat out of the water, it’s a great opportunity to clean the barnacles, algae and other foul off the hull, propellers, shafts and rudders etc. Open the seacocks, letting them drain and drain the bilges leaving the drain plug out. Make sure you remember to put it back in before your boat goes back in the water next season.

Storage In The Water

Make sure all your seacocks are closed and that nothing is leaking and ensure the bilge systems (pumps, float switches, and battery) are running smoothly and cockpit drain seacocks are open.

You should also check the boat at regular intervals to be sure it is safe and secure; a third party or friend may be able to do this and report back to you.

Further Storage Techniques

Add stabilizer to the fuel in your fuel tanks to prevent the fuel from degrading over winter. Then run the engine to let the stabilizer get into the fuel system and engine to protect them. Refer to the fuel stabilizer instructions for the appropriate quantity.  Change fuel filters.

Flush the cooling system and protect with anti-freeze. Every two to three years, the water pump impeller should be changed to keep the cooling system running efficiently.

Clean out rust and sediment from both outboard and inboard engines by removing the block plugs and letting the water drain away.

To prevent rust on the engine, spray it with an aerosol fogging oil(WD40).

Replace the oil filter and oil and make sure you dispose of the old oil responsibly.

If your engine is an outboard, store it in the upright position.

To ensure your electrical terminals and fuse panel remain rust-free, spray them with a lubricant to displace moisture. Read the label to make sure the spray is safe for electrical items.

Life jackets, seat cushions and any other fabric items should be hung up or positioned so they can air out easily.

Pump out the holding tank adding fresh water to the bowl and flushing several times. Use a toilet cleaning product, but refer to your owner’s handbook to make sure the product you use is safe for your system.

It is certainly worth remembering that a little money spent winterizing your boat could save you a small fortune later. Your insurance company may actually insist on a certain level of boat winterization to keep you covered. In addition to these general instructions, it is wise to check your boat’s handbook for any winterization required that is specific to your type of boat.

Remember the saying:-  full covers are worth their weight in GOLD. provides this guide for informational purposes only and cannot
accept responsibility for losses arising from its use.