BoatUS: 3 Best Practices to Follow for Your Boat’s Long Winter’s Nap

Boat Storage

Dec 19, 2023

A winter boat check-up can ensure your boat stays free of water, snow and ice accumulation during the off-season (Credit: Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore/BoatUS).

Across much of America, millions of recreational boats have been laid up for winter storage. With the boating season officially over, some boat owners may think they are free and clear for the next six months. However, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers three best practices for winter storage to ensure the off-season goes smoothy and safely.

1. If you haven’t done so yet, read your marina, boat club or storage facility contract. Every page. Why? This document clearly specifies critical safety rules to live by over the winter. Don’t assume that because you read one contract, they’re all the same. Different contracts apply to the specific type of winter storage you might have, such as outdoor, indoor or boats stored on a rack. Contracts also include work rules. Some common ones may include no work of any kind (most often for boats in rack storage but also sometimes for indoor storage), prohibiting outside contractors, no heaters or portable generators, and batteries must be disconnected. Why all the rules? There’s no getting around the fact that vessels tightly stored together tee up an increased fire hazard. So, for the greater good of everyone in winter storage, follow these rules to the letter.

2. Say “no” to power cords. While this best practice could have been included above, it deserves its own mention. Ask any marina owner what keeps them up at night over the long winter storage period and they will tell you one item at the top of the list is power cords. Undersized and multiple cords connected together are not only a potential source of ignition but make whatever they are plugged into, such as a battery charger or heater, another fire issue. If you need power to the boat to do some off-season work, check with your marina first. Some marinas may also require notification of any work you wish to do.

3. Visit your boat – safely. BoatUS recommends checking on your boat at least once during the off season, though more often is better. This will help ensure animals don’t make a home and that your cover or shrink wrap is still effectively shedding ice and snow. When visiting the boat, it’s best to find a parking spot away from vessels on jackstands. Don’t move or adjust jackstands, and never tie off a winter cover to them. If you need to use a ladder to climb aboard, tie it off at the top. If your boat is stored in the water, bring a friend with you so that help is right there should anyone have a slip off an icy dock.

If you store your boat in the water or on a lift over winter, bring a friend with you on any visits. An accidental fall into the water at this time of year could be fatal. (Credit: BoatUS Foundation).

Related Posts

See Taiga’s Orca Performance electric watercraft in action at the Toronto Boat Show


Taiga Motors, the Canadian leader in the electrification of powersports, will showcase its latest personal watercraft at the Toronto International Boat Show January 19-28, 2024 at booth 136, Heritage Court.

If you’d like more information about Taiga and would like to see the Orca Performance, a 100% electric personal watercraft in action at the Toronto International Boat Show’s indoor lake, Taiga Experts will be available for interviews and demos.

Read More

Need to Catch up on News This Week?

Every Tuesday we publish a fresh Digest with informative articles pertaining to the Canadian boating and marine industry. Stay up to date with the latest products, research and industry developments.

Missed an Issue of Boating Industry Canada News Week? If you’re looking for a specific issue, or simply want to catch up on previous issues, check out our Boating Industry Canada News Week Archives.

Not signed up for News Week? Subscribe here.

Boston Whaler launches the 210 Vantage

Boston Whaler just introduced the newest model in the Vantage lineup – the 210 Vantage, an all-new, keel-up dual console model designed with premium features core to the Boston Whaler brand, as well as intuitive technology to attract the next generation of boaters.

“Building on the success of the Vantage series, we’re thrilled to officially introduce the all-new 210 Vantage into the marketplace and offer consumers a truly differentiated experience,” said Dennis Tilden, Senior Director of Sales & Customer Service. “The 210 Vantage embodies the core values that define Boston Whaler’s legacy – quality, innovation, unsinkability, reliability and simplicity – and was designed to cater to young families and empty nesters with its manageable size, thoughtful design, weather protection and spacious seating. We’re confident that our newest model will be well-received in the market and set the standard for its category.​”

Read More

JL Audio unveils MediaMaster® Wireless Remote with Zone Control for Marine Audio Systems

Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers
Hubbell-Marine Stainless steel outlet covers

Keep it cradled, or take it with you to conveniently control your JL Audio marine source unit and audiozones from anywhere on deck.

JL Audio, a Garmin brand and manufacturer of high-performance marine audio systems, announced the addition of the MMR-25W wireless remote controller to its growing portfolio of MediaMaster® source unit control solutions. Equipped with Bluetooth® Low Energy technology, this compact, handheld controller connects directly to the latest MediaMaster® source units, including the MM105 and MM105-HR, and allows for robust, multi-zone system control from anywhere on deck.

Read More