Tips for Winterizing Your Boat for the Off Season

Winterizing your boat is an important part of boat ownership. Not only will winterizing your boat protect it during the winter months, but it will set you up for an easy launch next spring! We have compiled a few tips for making sure you properly winterize your boat for the cold months ahead.  


A bench seat on a boat with tan vinyl upholstery and several green and white pillowsA bench seat on a boat with tan vinyl upholstery and several green and white pillows
Cleaning your marine upholstery and fabrics is essential to making sure they look fresh and ready to go come springtime.


Clean Your Boat 

Thoroughly clean your boat, top to bottom, inside and outside, before putting it away for the winter. Every detail of your boat should be inspected and cleaned. Remove items from the boat such as electronics, flares, and fire extinguishers before cleaning. Cabinets and drawers should be emptied and cleaned.

Clean Your Boat Fabrics

Preparing your boat for the off season includes a thorough cleaning of any and all fabric, like upholstery or canvas tops. Depending on your winter climate, you may want to take measures to limit moisture within the boat while it’s stored or docked for the winter. 
Check out our How to Clean page for detailed instructions on cleaning all your boat fabrics including upholstery, vinyl, and shade canvas


A boat lifted out of the water with a coverA boat lifted out of the water with a cover
Prepping your boat for the cold winter months will ensure everything is functioning properly for your spring launch.

Winterize Your Boat

With a few steps of maintenance, your boat will be ready for the off-season. Even if you plan to use your boat all winter long, there are a few systems that will need extra attention in the colder weather.


Discover Boating has compiled a great list of steps to ensure your boat is ready for the fall and winter.


  1. Prep your engine and ensure all water has been drained
  2. Apply corrosion protection to your engine
  3. Complete fogging, if needed
  4. Stabilize your fuel
  5. Change your engine’s fuel filters
  6. Drain freshwater plumbing system  
  7. Add antifreeze to your plumbing systems
  8. Ensure water is removed from all additional systems
  9. Remove drain plugs
  10. Cover your boat and place it into winter storage


Read the full article at Discover Boating for details on each step. The owner’s manual for your boat should include a maintenance schedule for your specific craft. When in doubt, ask a professional. The boat dealer, or anyone who repairs boats for a living, is a great source for knowing exactly what you need to do to take care of your boat in the off season. 


A boat with a blue sunbrella fabric coverA boat with a blue sunbrella fabric cover
Cover your boat with a protective cover made with Sunbrella fabric.

Cover Your Boat

The best place to store your boat when not in use is in dry storage. If this is not a feasible option, you will want to cover your boat with a durable cover. Canvas marine boat covers made with Sunbrella fabric provide powerful protection against constant exposure to marine elements. Protective boat covers made with Sunbrella fabrics safeguard your boat from the worst of the elements.

Discover Sunbrella Marine

At Sunbrella, we are passionate about helping you have the best-looking craft on the water. For more ideas, check out our Marine Inspiration or Browse our Marine Upholstery Collection.