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5 tips to prepare your inflatable boats for winter

5 tips to prepare your inflatable boats for winter

side by side white tenders yacht dinghy cruising on the water

With the arrival of winter, boat owners face the critical task of getting their inflatable boats ready for the challenges brought about by the cold season.

What is winterizing an inflatable boat?

Winterizing a boat simply means preparing a watercraft for storage or non-use during the winter months, especially where the temperature drops below freezing.

Winterizing an inflatable boat is a necessary process that helps shield it from potential damage caused by harsh weather conditions. Not taking adequate precautions can result in expensive repairs and a shortened lifespan for the boat.

This guide offers our boat owners the essential information and steps to effectively winterize their boats. By following these guidelines, boat enthusiasts can be confident that their investments are well-protected and ready for the next boating season.

Step 1: Clean your inflatable boat

Before storing your inflatable boat for the winter, it’s essential to clean it thoroughly. Thoroughly cleaning your vessel is one of the best ways to increase the longevity of your inflatable boat during the storage process.

Use a mild solution and a soft brush to remove dirt, salt, or grime accumulated on the boat’s surface. 

Note:  The initial and arguably most crucial stage in effectively cleaning an inflatable boat involves selecting the appropriate cleaning products. Using the incorrect cleaners may result in detrimental effects on your boat/tubes instead. Although inflatable boats may be constructed from resilient materials like PVC or Hypalon, they can still be vulnerable to harm when subjected to harsh chemicals.

Pay attention to the corners and crevices where dirt may build up. 

Remember to empty and clean any additional compartments to prevent rust, corrosion, and mold.

Rinse the boat carefully with fresh water to ensure that all soap residues are removed.After cleaning, let the boat dry completely. Even a tiny amount of moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth during storage, damaging the boat’s material and structure. Use a dry cloth to remove any moisture, and make sure the boat is fully dry before moving to the next step.

Step 2: Inspect your inflatable boat for damages

Before storing your boat for the winter, it’s important to carefully inspect it for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. 

While the boat is fully inflated, examine every part of your boat. Perform any necessary maintenance before putting your boat away for the winter. 

Look for leaks, punctures, or any other issues that may have occurred during the boating season. Use appropriate repair kits or patches to address any damage. 

Additionally, check and tighten loose fittings, valves, or accessories to prevent them from getting lost or damaged during storage or transportation.

Make sure to carry out the repairs diligently, as even minor leaks can lead to significant problems when you use the boat again.

Note: Scheduling a service for your boat during the off-season can save you time and trouble when the boating season begins. 

Step 3: Properly deflate and fold your inflatable boat

To properly store an inflatable boat, it is necessary to deflate it entirely. Open all the valves and release all the air from the chambers. Ensuring that no air is trapped inside is crucial, as it can result in creases or damage during storage.

When folding the boat, carefully adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most inflatable boats come with specific folding guidelines to prevent damage. Avoid creating sharp folds that could stress or compromise the material, potentially leading to leaks or tears in the future.

 Step 4: Select the right storage area for your inflatable boat

Selecting an appropriate storage location for your inflatable boat is crucial. Ideally, opt for a cool, dry area shielded from direct sunlight, extreme temperatures, and moisture. 

If feasible, storing the boat indoors offers the best protection. However, if indoor storage isn’t an option, consider utilizing a boat storage bag or a dedicated storage area to ensure the boat’s safety and security.

When placing the boat in storage, ensure that it is kept elevated off the ground. Use a raised platform or a specially designed boat rack to prevent damage from rodents, pests, and damp surfaces. Keeping the boat elevated also facilitates proper air circulation around the boat, reducing the risk of mold and mildew formation.

Remove items such as fishing rods and tackle, safety equipment, sunscreen, oars, and other things that would be better stored in warmer environments. Detach all removable electronics. Thoroughly inspect every part of your boat to ensure that no items are left behind that could potentially damage your boat during storage. 

Step 5: Conduct regular checks

During the winter months, it is advisable to conduct regular inspections of the boat. Check for any signs of pests, damage, or other issues that may have emerged during storage. Address problems promptly to prevent them from escalating and causing more significant issues when ready to use the boat again.

By adhering to these comprehensive steps, you can guarantee that your inflatable boat stays in excellent condition during the winter and is prepared to return to the water when the warmer seasons arrive.

We do this every year! 

We manufacture top-tier inflatable boats that you can trust. Our inspiration stems from our love for being out on the water, and we channel this passion into designing boats that cater to all your requirements. 

If you’ve been contemplating the purchase of an inflatable boat or have inquiries regarding preparing your inflatable boats for winter, feel free to contact us online. 

You can also reach us via email at [email protected] or by phone at 1.604.783.5774, and toll-free at 1.844.322.BOAT (2628)