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Yes, You Need To Winterize Your Boat Even If It’s In The Garage: Expert Advice

Yes, You Need To Winterize Your Boat Even If It’s In The Garage: Expert Advice

Boat owners who store their boats in a garage may think that they don’t need to winterize their boats. However, this is not the case. Even if a boat is stored in a garage, it is still necessary to winterize it. Winterizing a boat is an important step in keeping it in good condition and avoiding costly damage.

Why Winterizing Your Boat Is Essential

Damage Prevention

Boats are expensive investments, and it’s essential to take care of them properly to avoid costly damage. Winterizing your boat is one of the most crucial steps you can take to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures. When water freezes, it expands, which can cause pipes and other components to crack or burst.

Winterizing your boat can prevent damage to the engine, fuel system, and other components. It involves removing any water from the boat’s systems, including the engine, plumbing, and bilge. If you don’t winterize your boat, you risk damage to these systems, which can lead to costly repairs or even total loss.

Longevity of Boat Life

Winterizing your boat can also extend the life of your boat. By properly preparing your boat for winter, you can prevent damage to the hull, engine, and other components. This can help your boat last longer and save you money in the long run.

In addition to preventing damage, winterizing your boat can also help you identify any issues that need to be addressed before they become more significant problems. For example, if you notice any leaks or other issues while winterizing your boat, you can address them before they cause more damage.

The Misconception of Garage Storage

Many boat owners believe that storing their boats in a garage during the winter months is enough to protect them from the harsh weather. However, this is not entirely true. While garage storage can provide some level of protection, it is still important to winterize your boat to prevent potential damage.

Temperature Fluctuations

Garages are not insulated and are subject to temperature fluctuations. The temperature inside a garage can drop below freezing, especially during cold winter nights. When the temperature drops, any water left inside the boat can freeze and expand, causing damage to the engine block, pipes, and other components.

Humidity and Moisture Issues

Garages are also prone to humidity and moisture issues. Even if the boat is stored in a dry garage, it is still exposed to moisture in the air. This can cause mold and mildew to grow inside the boat, which can lead to unpleasant odors and potential health hazards. Moisture can also cause rust and corrosion on metal components.

To prevent these issues, it is important to properly winterize your boat, even if it is stored in a garage. This includes draining all water from the engine, flushing the engine with antifreeze, and adding fuel stabilizer to the gas tank. It is also recommended to cover the boat with a properly fitting cover to prevent dust, debris, and pests from entering.

Key Steps to Winterize Your Boat

Winterizing your boat is an essential step to ensure that it remains in good condition during the cold months. Even if your boat is stored in the garage, it is still important to winterize it properly. Here are the key steps to winterize your boat:

Engine and Fuel System

The engine and fuel system are the most crucial parts of your boat that need to be winterized. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Change the oil and filter
  • Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank
  • Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer
  • Drain the cooling system and replace the antifreeze
  • Fog the engine cylinders to prevent corrosion
  • Disconnect the fuel line and run the engine until it stalls to remove any remaining fuel from the carburetor


Batteries are another important component that needs to be winterized. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Remove the batteries from the boat
  • Clean the battery terminals and cables
  • Charge the batteries fully
  • Store the batteries in a cool, dry place

Water System

The water system of your boat also needs to be winterized to prevent freezing and damage. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Drain all the water from the system, including the freshwater tank, hot water heater, and all the water lines
  • Add antifreeze to the water system to prevent freezing
  • Run the water pump until antifreeze comes out of all the faucets and showerheads
  • Remove the drain plug from the water heater and let it drain completely

Interior and Exterior Protection

Finally, you need to protect the interior and exterior of your boat from the harsh winter elements. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Clean the boat thoroughly and remove any debris
  • Apply a coat of wax to protect the exterior from the elements
  • Cover the boat with a high-quality cover that is specifically designed for winter storage
  • Store the boat in a dry, cool place away from sunlight and moisture

Professional Vs DIY Winterization

When it comes to winterizing your boat, you have two options: you can either do it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here is a breakdown of the differences between professional and DIY winterization:

Professional Winterization

Hiring a professional to winterize your boat can be more expensive than doing it yourself, but it can also give you peace of mind knowing that your boat has been properly winterized. Here are some pros and cons of professional winterization:


  • Professionals have the knowledge and experience to properly winterize your boat
  • They have access to specialized equipment and tools
  • They can identify and fix any potential problems before they become bigger issues


  • It can be more expensive than DIY winterization
  • You may have to wait longer to get an appointment with a professional
  • You may not have control over the specific products and methods used for winterization

DIY Winterization

Doing it yourself can save you money, and it can also be a great way to learn about your boat and its systems. However, it’s important to make sure you have the knowledge and tools necessary to do the job correctly. Here are some pros and cons of DIY winterization:


  • You can save money by doing it yourself
  • You have control over the products and methods used for winterization
  • It can be a great learning experience


  • You may not have the knowledge or experience to properly winterize your boat
  • You may not have access to specialized equipment and tools
  • You may miss potential problems that a professional would catch

Ultimately, the decision to hire a professional or do it yourself comes down to your own knowledge, experience, and budget. If you’re confident in your ability to do the job correctly, DIY winterization can be a great option. However, if you’re unsure or want the peace of mind that comes with professional winterization, it may be worth the extra cost.


In conclusion, it is important to winterize your boat even if it is stored in a garage. Although it may seem unnecessary to some, winterizing your boat can save you from costly repairs and damages caused by freezing temperatures and moisture.