Whether you’re storing your boat for a week or for a month, if you don’t put it up properly you could be in for a disaster. We’ve talked before about whether or not rack storage is a good move, and it does remedy many of these issues. But no matter where you lay up your boat, look out for these storage no-no’s.
1. Bad Drainage – A boat sitting in a bow-down position is sure to accumulate water, so make sure yours sits with the bow in the air. And don’t forget to remove the drain plug(s), or water won’t be able to run out of the bilge no matter what the boat’s orientation.
2. Sun Damage – UV rays take a toll on everything from vinyl seat cushions to fiberglass gel coat. One of the easiest ways to keep your boat looking good and extend its life-span is to keep it covered when not in use.
3. Top’s Up – Bimini tops should always be left in a lowered position. Otherwise, strong gusts of wind can easily rack the metal supports. The tensioning straps are sure to work their way loose over time. And that constant exposure to sun, wind, and rain will take a heavy toll on the canvass. These aren’t intended to act as storage covers, so don’t use them this way!
4. Terrible Tarps – If you use one of those blue plastic tarps to cover your boat, you’re asking for trouble. The problem is that they tend to move in a breeze, and wear on the boat’s or outboard’s finish. Canvass is a much better option. If you do use one of those tarps, however, make sure it’s completely secured to minimize movement, and cover items with a slick finish, like outboard engine cowls, with a secure towel or clean rag before putting on the tarp.
5. Carb Clogger – Don’t forget to run the fuel out of any outboard which is going to sit for more than a week or two. Ethanol gas will break down quickly, leaving gum and deposits in your carb. For some other tips on how to keep that outboard running smoothly, read 5 Tips for Outboard Owners.
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