Outdoor Winter Storage Tips for Houseboats
(Geneva, N.Y. USA)
Are there any outdoor winter storage tips for houseboats? Reply - Answer
Houseboats are kind of large to store indoors, so what method is best for outdoor winter storage here in upstate N.Y.
Should we cover it, or not cover it? We take care of all the other things inside, but what is the best for the outside??
Well Sherry, that's a good question because not everyone who has a houseboat, does it in a warm climate all year long.
When it's comes to "houseboat storage", or in this case cold winter storage, you have a few choices.
You can try and find a storage location that is indoors, however you will pay a premium for it, since houseboats are rather large in size.
If you prefer keeping it outdoors, you basically have a few options.Option-1)
You can simply leave it on its storage blocks, and leave it unprotected to the elements. However "spring cleaning" will be much more intense, than if it's covered.
One of the major causes of damage from not covering it is that the rain water will always seep into all the nooks and crannies. The water will eventually freeze, which expands, and will loosen basically everything exposed to it. This cycle will happen often in the fall and spring seasons.Option-2)
Another option is to build a wooden frame out of 2x4's or 2x2's and cover the frame with either tarpaulin, or plastic protective material. This way the houseboat stays protected from the elements.
A word of caution since I have witnessed many folks who wanted to do it themselves, and rarely has the the installation stayed intact during the whole storage season. The winter winds can really cause havoc with loose ropes and tarps.Option-3)
The third option is to have the houseboat professionally "heat shrink wrapped" like the photo above. Generally speaking, the marina yards where they store them will do a complete shrink wrap for you.
It's similar to option-2, yet the blue (available in white also) material is heated and shrink wrapped around the houseboat. It is similar to meat packages that you buy at the grocery store. They generally install 2 or 4 small vents in the shrink wrap to keep it ventilated during the storage season.
Naturally option-3 is the more expensive option, yet I find that the savings come back to you in the long run, since water and ice can cause some serious damage during cold winters.
This doesn't even take into account the damage from things like rain, hail, freezing ice, snow, bird droppings, acid rain, dust, dirt, and leaves and so on...
Whatever method that you use, just be sure to properly winterize the houseboat. Winterize the plumbing, water tanks, engine block(s), outdrives, and anything that you don't want damaged by freezing.
Whatever you do, don't be too sad when you store your houseboat, because before you know it, SPRING has arrived :) Yipee, another season begins :)
Lastly, hopefully some of our readers will share and post comments about their houseboat storage experiences.
IAN from all-about-houseboats
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