It’s been a long, fun summer filled with plenty of weekend adventures and lake trips. But it won’t be long before cool air and shorter days will start creeping in. and Then it will be time to think about winter adventures like heading out with your SnoCap for a long weekend hitting the snowmobile trails.


One thing you don’t want to do is to put off end-of-season boat maintenance. Neglecting your boat in the fall can make for a very expensive spring! At Canvasworks in Cokato, we specialize in manufacturing custom boat covers for Minnesota boat owners. So, we’ve put together this end-of-season boating checklist to help you get ready for winter storage this year. Once you finish your end-of-season maintenance, take a look at our reusable winter storage covers and call us to order yours today!

Winterizing Your Boat

When putting your boat away for the winter, one of the primary concerns is protecting it from the winter cold and precipitation. Failure to do so can result in expensive repairs later. The winterization process includes things like draining fluids and adding stabilizers when needed to avoid freezing and corrosion. It’s best to make any exterior or interior repairs at this point to prevent them from worsening over the winter. Lastly, you'll need to protect your boat's interior from winter precipitation by using a reusable winter storage cover, shrink-wrap, or storing it indoors.


These are our basic recommendations for winterizing your outboard motor. If you have an inboard engine or are running in salt water, there will be additional steps. Always remember to check your manufacturer's guidelines and, when in doubt, follow their guidelines.


●        Change your oil and all filters first.

●        Next, fill the fuel tank, leaving enough room for expansion.

●        Your next step is to add a stabilizer to the fuel. Follow the dilution instructions on the bottle.

●        Now hook your outboard up to your hose and start the engine. Run it for about ten minutes to allow the stabilizer to circulate through the outboard motor.

●        While the outboard is running, use a fogging solution to fog the engine cylinders.

●        Drain your outdrive oil.

●        Store your outboard motor in the upright position. Doing so allows all water to drain out of the outdrive, preventing water from freezing inside and cracking it over the winter.

●        Remove your battery and place it in a dry location for storage.


Now that your outboard motor is ready for winter, it’s time to get the rest of your boat ready for winter storage.


●        Thoroughly clean the hull, clearing off any dirt, sand, and plants.

●        Repair any damage to the hull or schedule the repairs with your marina.

●        If you repaired hull damage, touch up your paint and wax the hull.

●        Remove any personal items, linens, and valuables from your boat. Remove any flares and fire extinguishers as well. Replace them or have them serviced as needed.

●        Wipe down the interior surfaces of your boat.

●        Clean your upholstery using gentle cleansers and allow the vinyl to dry completely before storage. Never use harsh detergents or bleach on your upholstery; it will degrade the vinyl quickly.

●        Remove any upholstery that needs to be repaired or replaced over the winter.

●        Oil any hinges.

●        Lock the cabinets and the cabin if you have one.

●        Depending on what type of boat you have, you could use a dehumidifier in the cabin. Using a dehumidifier is only an option if you plan on storing your boat indoors over the winter.

●        Update your boat insurance coverage if needed.

●        Clean your summer mooring or travel cover and allow it to dry. Bring it to a reputable canvas shop now if it needs repairing. Having the repairs done over the winter is often less expensive than during the busy spring months. You'll also get it back more quickly in most cases.


Your last step is to decide how you’re going to cover your boat during winter storage. The most common options for outdoor storage are reusable winter storage covers, shrink-wrap, and tarps. If you opt to store your boat indoors over the winter you can use your summer cover to protect it from dust and bird debris. No matter what, never use your summer storage or travel covers for outdoor winter storage. They are not made to withstand winter conditions and will suffer damages.

Order Your Reusable Winter Storage Cover Today!

In this day and age, it’s more important than ever to pursue reusable options whenever possible. Our reusable winter storage covers are the perfect green solution to outdoor winter boat storage! So don’t wait for winter weather to order! Give us a call at 320-559-0165 to order your custom winter storage cover today or contact us online to find out more about our other marine products, from bimini tops to upholstery.