How do I store my boat in the winter?

Whether you own a canoe or a speed boat, there's always a right way and a wrong way to store your boat over the winter. While every boat manufacturer has specific instructions on how to prepare your boat for winter storage, here are some basic guidelines for winterizing your water vessel until the spring:

Indoors is always best

Canadian winters can be pretty harsh. Extreme winds, icy temperatures and non-stop snow, rain and hail can present plenty of problems to your boat if it’s left outside. The most ideal place to keep your boat until it’s ready for the following cottage season is somewhere it can be protected from the elements. Finding a storage facility big enough to house your boat for winter can be difficult, especially if it’s large. Ask your nearby yacht or boating club if they have storage options. You will have to rent or buy a boating trailer to safely get your boat from the water to the storage facility. Kijiji offers plenty of covers and tools for safely storing your boat.

When storing your boat indoors, be sure to follow these steps:

  • Thoroughly clean your boat’s exterior. Don’t be shy to pressure-wash and wax the hull.
  • Open seacocks for maximum drainage
  • To help prevent the spread of invasive plant and animal species, always clean, drain and dry your boat and equipment
  • Add antifreeze to your water system (if the indoor facility is not temperature controlled).
  • Remove water and excess oil from your engine and apply corrosion protection

Storing your boat outside

If you have to store your boat outside, be sure to remove all seat cushions and to cover it with special shrink wrap, a tarp or a custom-made cover. A boat cover may be more expensive, but it’s also reusable and durable. A shrink-wrap system will protect your boat from rain and snow.


Winterize Your Engine(s)

It’s absolutely vital that you take all the necessary steps to protect your engine during the winter months. Don’t forget to consult your owner’s manual for more specific instructions. You will likely need to change your fuel’s filters and parts that separate the water and fuel. It might not be a bad idea to also run the engine with a fuel stabilizer before you store it.


Do you plan on selling your boat before the cottage season starts?

If you’ve decided that this is your final year with your boat, there are some extra steps you can take to make sure it presents well when it comes time to sell it. Before wrapping it up for storage, make sure it’s clean and free from personal items. Taking a picture of it when it’s out of the water will give the buyer a better sense of scale.

Read more boat-selling tips here!


Buying or selling?

Are you hoping to buy a boat for the next cottage season? Kijiji can help start your search for second-hand boats today. We make buying and selling safe and easy with our COVID-friendly search options that help you find sellers that offer contactless transactions.

Your well-being is our number one priority. Consider whether in-person transactions are necessary and visit our Help Desk for more information and guidance on how to trade or buy safely.

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