1. Before you haul your boat out of the water, make notes of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced before you store your boat. You'll have all season to do maintenance, and when spring comes, you'll be boating while everyone else is fiddling with sticky winches, torn sails and tarnished brightwork. If there's any hull damage, fix it ASAP because cracks can get worse during storage. 
  2. Get it spic and span. Once it's hauled out, remove the bilge drain plug immediately. Then give your boat's hull and decks a thorough scrubbing to remove gunk, grime, slime and barnacles. Leave plenty of time for everything to dry before it goes into storage. This will go faster if you raise the bow of the boat to allow as much water as possible to drain while you perform the other storage preparations. Give the interior a thorough cleaning, too. Clear out the refrigerator, lockers, and any other materials that can spoil or mildew over winter. Leave interior lockers open for more air circulation. You might also want to place mildew control bags throughout the cabin and in compartments so you're not greeted by a nasty stink next spring.
  3. Avoid engine trouble. it is recommended topping off your gas tank and adding a gas stabilizer to reduce the possibility of condensation. Run your engine for approximately 15 minutes to make sure the additives reach the gas already in the fuel lines and engine. It is advised changing your engine oil and replacing all filters. Also remember to check hoses, belts and clamps, clean your strainers and leave your thru-hulls open. While you're at it, flush the coolant system with water, if necessary, and add antifreeze. Thoroughly flush one before using the other.
  4. Experts recommend that you follow these steps to store your boat.
  5. Clean out the head and other areas. While that certified expert is prepping your engine and fuel system for storage, you'll have more time to clean out the head. Be sure to flush it with plenty of fresh water and to pump out your holding tanks.
  6. Run non-toxic antifreeze through the intake lines, y-valve, macerator and discharge hose. They also say you'll want to drain your fresh water tanks and water heater, and then you should add a non-toxic antifreeze to your water tank and pump it through the plumbing, including ice makers, A/C pumps, sump pumps, fish wells, bilge pumps, and that shower on the transom.
  7. Remove electronics, including your battery, and store it all in a warm, dry place. Clean the battery terminals to remove corrosion, and grease them lightly. Give the battery a full charge using a charger designed specifically for a marine battery and check fluid levels.
  8. Outside storage is a cost effective way to store your boat.

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