It’s almost that time of year I’m afraid…time to slather the inflatable fishing boat in super expensive sunblock and wrap her in heavy plastic sheeting. I might have a float or two left in me, but we’re almost done in Colorado. Until mid winter that is – and I get the hankering to do something stupid like drag the raft out in a blizzard.
This week my Down River Equipment newsletter showed up with a couple of handy tips for inflatable boat storage during the winter months. These guys are second to none here in Colorado for all things rafting and I trust their judgement. Personally I find keeping my boat outside on the trailer all winter the easiest as I have no storage space inside, but no matter how you do it their tips below should be of some help.
Boat Storage Tips
Keep in mind that the best place to keep you boat during the winter is indoors in a dry climate.
1) Wash your boat with soap and water. Make sure you’ve given your boat plenty of time to dry before storage.
2) Spray and wipe your boat down with 303 UV Protectant.
3) If you store your boat where there is the possibility of damage by mice, we have found that rolling up your boat and standing it in a large plastic garbage can will provide better protection than simply wrapping it in a tarp.
4) Keeping your equipment outside on a trailer can arguably be the easiest solution, but consider bringing your frame inside. Pipe that has water trapped in it will burst once it freezes. We think you’re better off safe, than sorry.
5) If you keep your boat on the trailer, remove the frame and use a tarp or something heavier for coverage. You should consider pitching a high point in the center of the boat to promote drainage off the tarp as snow starts to melt in the spring, or poking a hole in the center of the low point of the tarp will allow the snow melt to escape. (Not suggested for bucket boats)