Winterizing Wooden Boats: Steps To Ensure Yours Is Ready In Spring

September 24, 2015

You count on your wooden boat to provide you with an endless amount of fun during the summer. That doesn’t mean you can simply forget about it when winter comes. Here are some tips you can use to ensure yours is properly winterized so it will be ready to go again come spring.

Remove Everything

The first thing you need to do is remove everything from inside your boat. You should also remove and store away items that are attached to your boat, such as a motor, ladder or fenders. Doing so will protect them from the elements, and make it less likely that someone else will help themselves to these items.


The next thing you should do is give your boat a thorough cleaning. Allowing algae, dirt or other items to remain stuck on your boat increases the odds of its decay, as bacteria can easily grow and cause damage. Wash the surface using a mild detergent or car wash solution. Use a brush to scrub the crevices of your boat completely. Once you’ve washed your boat, allow it to dry thoroughly in the sun.

Inspect and Repair

Inspect your boat for signs of damage or dry rot, and then make repairs as needed. Wood that is damaged will only get worse as the winter goes on, so you should not wait until warmer weather to take care of repairs. Once repairs have been made, touch up any paint or varnish. You may then add a coat of wax to your boat to give it added protection.


Smaller boats such as canoes can be placed on top of concrete blocks or bricks to keep them off the ground somewhat. This may not be possible with larger vessels, in which case you may want to place them on a trailer instead. Never allow the bottom of your boat to come into direct contact with the ground when storing it for long periods of time.

In either instance, one end should be propped up to allow water to drain. Once your boat is in the proper position, cover it with canvas, and secure tightly using tie-down straps that are securely anchored into the ground.

Store your wooden boat in a climate-controlled environment along with its motor and accessories. Contact Move It Self Storage to locate a storage facility that is perfect for storing your vessel.


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