As boating season comes to a close, it’s time to think about winter storage for your boat as well as your boat canvas. At Canvasworks in Cokato, MN, customers often ask how to care for and store boat enclosure windows properly.


Fortunately, taking a few simple steps to care for your vinyl boat enclosure windows the right way will keep them looking great longer for plenty of future lake adventures. Of course, to  keep your boat enclosure windows in good shape, you’ll want to store them properly and avoid a few common practices that can damage the vinyl.


In this post from Canvasworks, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about proper winter storage for boat enclosure windows. To learn more about boat enclosures and custom heavy-duty boat covers, give us a call today.

1.   Check Window Condition

Before cleaning or storing your vinyl windows for the winter, you’ll want to look them over thoroughly for any signs of aging or wear. Look over any zippers and snaps to make sure they’re in good condition. Consider whether or not your vinyl is in good condition or if it needs to be replaced. Don’t wait until spring to repair or replace damaged vinyl windows. You’ll get the work done faster and possibly cheaper if you have it done in the off-season. 

2.   Clean Them Properly

In reality, you should be cleaning your boat enclosure windows after every boat trip you take. Even if your windows don’t look dirty after spending a couple of hours on the lake, they can begin to accumulate minerals that cause the vinyl to break down on a structural level. Tiny grains of sand, dirt, and other debris can also leave small scratches on your windows. Cleaning them after each trip, even just rinsing them off with clean water, increases the lifespan of your windows.


You’ll want to do more than a simple rinse before storing your windows for the winter. We recommend a thorough cleaning, following the steps outlined below, but if the manufacturer of your window vinyl has different recommendations, please follow their instructions.


1.      When cleaning your windows, gentle cleansers, light pressure, and soft work surfaces are critical. Scratches are forever. You can use Imar Yacht Soap Concentrate or other cleansers designed explicitly for clear vinyl periodically. Never use harsh cleansers, detergents, or abrasive products on your boat’s windows. This includes but is not limited to paper towels, Simple Green, glass cleaner, Fantastic, ammonia, alcohol, or petroleum based cleansers. These will ruin your windows.


a)      First, rinse your windows thoroughly with clear, gently flowing water.

b)      Next, gently cleanse your vinyl windows with a soft cloth. Only use soap if necessary.

c)      If you have spots on the windows that will not go away with gentle washing and drying, a 90/10 solution of water and vinegar can dissolve them. Be sure to rinse thoroughly after applying this solution.

d)      Now rinse the windows thoroughly with clear water.


2.      Your next step is to protect your windows, especially if you used soap during the cleansing process.

a)      Apply your protective product. Again the Imar Protective Polish is approved for use in clear vinyls. If you choose not to use this product, make sure what you are using is approved for use on clear vinyl.

b)      Buff gently until dry with a soft cloth, changing periodically as necessary.



3.   Store Windows With Care

First and foremost, your windows must be completely clean and dry before storing them for the Vinyl windows can be stored laid flat or loosely rolled. Flat storage is preferred, but you can roll your windows loosely if space is a concern. In either case, you will bring the windows indoors and lay them out onto a soft fabric, such as a towel, sheet, or blanket. If you are storing them flat, stack them with a layer of soft material between each window and one on the bottom and top. If you are rolling them, roll them loosely, keeping a layer of soft fabric between the layers of clear vinyl as you roll the vinyl. After you have protected your windows for the off-season, move them to your storage location. We highly recommend storing windows in a temperature-controlled area to reduce the chances of your clear vinyl cracking during storage.

Your Minnesota Source for Marine Windows

Are your marine windows yellowed or damaged? Then, it’s time to order new boat enclosure windows from Canvasworks, your source for custom marine products.


Our boat enclosure windows are manufactured to stand up to the toughest conditions with flexible vinyl that improves visibility while reducing glare. All options are available with or without screens.


Visit our online gallery to check out our boat enclosure windows, then give us a call at 320-559-0165 or connect with us online today.