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Storing your Boat for the Winter – Are you Ready?

Another boating season has come to an end and it’s time to start thinking about how you will store your boat. There are a lot of options. You can have the boat winterized, raised and stored in your boat house; your boat can be trailered back to your marina winterized and stored on the marina’s property, or you could store it on your own property.
A few things to think about….
1. Is your boat vermin proof? Nothing says warm and cozy to a racoon like boat upholstery and life jackets. Some tips. Thoroughly clean and remove any trace of food onboard (they don’t need help finding your new Crownline). Use moth balls or something similar to make the boat less attractive. Periodically check in to make sure no four-legged creatures have moved in. If they have, have them professionally removed as soon as possible.
2. Are you storing the boat outside? Have you built a structure that is strong enough to handle the potential snow and ice load? Snow adds up over the winter and the weight can cause damage to tops, windshields and the interior of your boat. Monitor the amount of snow and ice and take steps to remove the snow when possible.
3. Is your boat safe from theft? Limit temptation – remove anything of value. The less to attract a quick hand the better. Put good quality locks on your drive unit and trailer. You may want to ask your local marina or dealer what they recommend. Nothing is fool- proof but the more you do to prevent theft the more chance your boat will be waiting for you when spring comes. Periodically check to make sure the boat is secure and if you notice something is missing call the police and report the theft as soon as possible.
4. Have your boat professionally winterized and keep proof of the work done. Most insurance policies have specific exclusions about winterization. Contact your insurer to find out what you can and cannot do. In most cases if you can’t show that work was done by a qualified marine professional there is no coverage for any resulting damage that may present itself next spring when the boat is put back into the water.

These are just a few quick tips. For more information speak to your local marina or dealer – they can help you keep your boat safe and sound while it’s in storage this winter wherever you choose to keep it.

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Northstar Marine Insurance Inc.
270-92 Caplan Ave, Barrie, ON, L4N 9J2
Phone 1-866-717-9295, Fax 1-866-354-7337