Winter Tips


A series of protection and safety articles provided to you by ACBS Safety Officer Goody Thomas and Hagerty Classic Insurance with the expert assistance from ACBS member, Gary Hutchens, owner of Torch Lake Classics. Please boat safely, store safely and prepare for the next boating season.

We’re going to get right to the point with our storage tips:

  • It’s a good idea to change the oil after hauling your boat.
  • Drain the water out of the engine, water pump and manifolds. Consider replacing the water with a non-polluting antifreeze.
  • Remove the battery and store it in a heated building; consider maintaining the battery with a trickle charger.
  • Drain all water from the bilge.
  • Consider stuffing a “stopper” such as a tennis ball into the boat exhaust pipe to eliminate any vermin from nesting there during the winter.
  • Try placing mothballs in small aluminum pans or foil around and in the boat to repel vermin.
  • Take everything off the boat such as sails, gear, battery, all electronics and any items that may mildew. Store separately inside a building.
  • Wash or wipe down the inside of the boat with a mild soap, light bleach or similar cleaning solution, including all upholstery, chrome, wood, etc.
  • Rest the boat trailer on blocks to prevent the tires from developing a flat spot and cover the trailer’s wheels to prevent drying and cracking rubber.
  • Store your boat in a well-ventilated facility.
  • If you’re storing your classic at a marina or other shipyard, confirm that the owners and workers know how to properly store your boat, e.g., blocking wooden hulls.
  • Shrink wrapping is not recommended for wooden boats. However, if you do shrink wrap, be sure to install extra vents.