Tips & Advice
What is shrink wrapping a boat?
Shrink wrapping is the process of wrapping a boat in a heavy-duty polyethylene material that shrinks under heat to very tightly encase the boat. While it’s not as cheap as tarps and ropes, it is relatively inexpensive, and some people can even DIY it--although if you’re not adept there’s not much reason to, as many shrink-wrap providers will travel to the boat/customer. If professionally or properly applied, shrink wrap is waterproof, and the material is also UV light resistant. This is becoming a more common extra protective measure among boat owners who store their boats outdoors in the off season.
To winterize a boat, you will need to go through many steps. One of the main things is to protect the engine. Treat the fuel and engine with a stabilizer, change the oil, drain the engine, and fill the block and circulating pump with antifreeze. If possible, adjust the engine to vertical position, making sure all the water drains out. Disconnect the fuel line from the engine. There are many other more detailed steps recommended by experts, such as applying an aerosol fogging solution to the engine.
Clean and dry the bilges. If you have a head and/or a fresh water system, empty and sterilize the head, drain the water system, and pump non-toxic antifreeze through it. Remove the head altogether if it’s removable.
If you are dry storing the boat, pressure wash and inspect the hull. Remove any barnacles, and patch up blisters. Then, get it covered with the best kind of cover or wrap. If it’s staying in a marina, many owners will install a dehumidifier, and in the slip they’ll install a bubbler that keeps the water from freezing solid around it.
Can a boat be parked on the street?
A boat can sometimes be parked, on a boat trailer, on a residential street, but there are a lot of regulations, and they vary according to the city and neighborhood laws. In many boat communities, there are laws specifically to keep people from parking boats on the street for more than 48-72 hours. Other places only allow boats to be parked for a couple of hours.
How much does boat storage cost?
The cost of boat storage depends on the size of the boat, and what type of storage. If dry storage, is it an indoor or outdoor storage space? Is it on a rack, or will the owner need to trailer it? Self-storage in a warehouse starts around $140 a month, while outdoor self-storage might cost $600 for the year. However, racked storage or storage on blocks with shrink wrap can cost $2000 for a 27’-32’ boat. Marina mooring fees might cost anywhere from a few-hundred dollars a month to $1,000 a month for a larger yacht.
What is the best way to store a boat?
The best way to store a boat depends on season and climate conditions, the size of the boat, and how convenient the owner wants his or her access. In the off season, people who want their boat to be dry and secure for a few months will typically pay for dry rack storage, or trailer it and store it in a warehouse. People with enough room in the backyard will often set it on a trailer and store in a garage or just in the open air. People who live in areas where boats can be used year-round often store their boat in a slip in a marina, or, if they have a boat-up property, they may install a boat lift and set up a small dry dock area right there.