Let’s be honest; it doesn’t get all that cold in New Orleans during the winter. Even so, it’s still essential you winterize your boat as we move into the off-season. Proper winterization means launching into the waters quickly next spring rather than wasting time in repair shops. There are many sights, sounds, and smells to experience when boating in New Orleans. (Who doesn’t love fresh shrimp?!). Let’s dive right into some essential tips and information on winterizing your boat!
The Humidity Factor in New Orleans
You may be wondering why you need to consider winterization even though New Orleans doesn’t get too cold. While our beloved Crescent City might not have the frosty winters of the North, there’s another silent foe we often overlook: humidity. High humidity levels, common in New Orleans, can lead to unwanted moisture in your boat. This moisture and warmth is the reason mold and mildew grow quickly. And let’s face it; no boat owner wants to start the new boating season scrubbing off mold stains or dealing with this mess. If you’re thinking of skipping winterization because it “doesn’t get that cold,” remember that it’s not always about the cold. It’s about protecting your boat from unwanted moisture, mold, and even pests.
Taking Your Boat Out of the Water
If you can trailer your boat, it’s preferable to take it out of the water for winterizing. Saltwater is highly corrosive and damaging. It can eat through the wood and turn stainless steel into corroded junk. It’s not great for your boat’s hull either, and it’s the worst for outboard engines. If you don’t have a trailer, you should find a marina that can lift your boat out of the water. This is truly the best way to ensure your boat provides as many years of pleasure as possible. Once it’s out of the water, you can scrape and clean your boat’s hull. Furthermore, giving it a fresh coat of anti-fouling paint to prevent barnacles next season will give your boat the love it deserves to run like new.
Boat Storage 101: Flush All Systems and Change All Fluids
Whatever type of engine your boat uses, make sure to flush and replace all intake and cooling systems thoroughly. That saltwater can damage your engine’s inside and must be thoroughly replaced. Draining any excess water out of your boat and equipment is also crucial. Leaving any in there over the winter can damage delicate systems as well as foster nasty mold and mildew. Changing the oil and filter is recommended if you have an inboard/outboard engine. Another tip is to empty any portable fuel tanks you use on your boat. Don’t dump gasoline; it’s illegal, dangerous, and environmentally harmful! You can use it at home in your lawnmower, car, or any other gasoline-powered device. If you have built-in fuel tanks, filling them up is a good idea to prevent condensation from spoiling your gas. Additionally, adding a bottle of fuel stabilizer is recommended when winterizing your boat in New Orleans.
Cleaning and Drying All Boating Gear
No matter the type of boat you own, you likely have various gear that comes with it. This includes lifejackets, fishing poles, skis, ropes, and bumpers. Ensure all this gear is rinsed thoroughly with fresh water. Then, let everything dry completely under the sun before storing it inside your boat. Mold and mildew can destroy boating gear in just a few weeks. The last thing you’d want is to open up your boat next season only to find a mess and delay your time on the water.
The Hidden Risks of Neglecting Winterization
Imagine this; you’re excitedly opening up your boat next season, ready for a day out, only to be greeted by an off-putting odor, or worse, find out that the upholstery has become home to mold. Unfortunately, such instances aren’t rare for boat owners who overlook winterization, especially in our humid New Orleans climate. Mold and mildew can settle into every nook, turning cushions, ropes, and sails into their new home. As mentioned above, the continuous cycle of condensation and evaporation inside an improperly sealed boat can damage important components. Hence, the absolute necessity to winterize your boat.
Clean, Oil, and Wax All Boat Surfaces for Storage
Cleaning, oiling, and waxing every surface of your boat is as essential as cleaning all your boating gear. This removes excess salt and provides a protective coating against the elements. It’s the best way to shield your boat in dry storage in New Orleans. For teak surfaces, oil them to prevent them from drying out and starting to rot.
Boat Storage: Covering Your Boat
It’s imperative to cover your boat after winterization. Many marinas in New Orleans offer shrink wrapping, which is an excellent solution. This protective layer shields your boat from elements like rain, sleet, dust, and sunlight. Moreover, it deters critters from nesting in your boat over the winter. If shrink-wrapping isn’t an option, using a heavy-duty tarp is another solution. Ensure you use adequate tie-downs to fasten it securely.
Winter Boat Storage in New Orleans
An essential aspect of winterizing your boat in New Orleans is deciding where to store it. Storing it at home may not be an option for everyone, as space is always limited or HOA won’t allow it. While you could store it at a marina, this can be a pricey option. A fantastic choice is storing it with Southern Self Storage. Visit our website to explore our boat storage options. You can also contact your nearest Southern Self Storage facility to find out what options there are!
Southern Self Storage offers affordable parking spaces suitable for boats of varied sizes. Our facilities prioritize safety and cleanliness. With 24/7 video surveillance, keypad-controlled gates, and well-lit locations, you can be assured of your boat’s safety. Renting storage space is a breeze. Fill in our online reservation application, select the area you need, and voilà! Your storage space will await you. Best of all, there are no long-term commitments. Remember, if you ever get the itch to sail, you can access your boat anytime. Sunny day out? Feel free to take your boat and enjoy!
The boating season might be coming to an end, but next year will roll around soon. Proper winterization ensures your boat is ready for action once again. For any queries, chat with a Southern Self Storage manager online. We promise to care for your boat until you’re ready for the next season.