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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through February 10, 2003 » boat outside and dry? « Previous Next »
By dane (greatdane) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 11:40 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Does anyone else store their boat outside during the winter?

How do you keep it dry?

Should I put a heater or de-humidifier, on a timer, under the cover?

Is there a risk of fire or explosion with these and gas fumes?

By Sean M (magic) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 12:54 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Dane, I am doing this right now and did it last winter. No mildew, no problems.

I have my towing cover on the boat, some what loose.
On top of that, I have a lovely silver tarp that I got from Lowes. On my boat the tower folds down towards the rear. The tarp then goes over the tower and only touches the towing cover on the top of the windscreen and most rear of the boat.

In the boat, I have:
- A "Golden Rod" heater in the ski locker (24/7)
- A de-humidifer running 24/7 in the boat
- A magnetic block heater on the side of the motor (24/7)

I prop up the motor cover a little to alow air to pass under, prop up the observers seat a little and take everything out of the boat I can.

Fill the gas tank full of gas (keep the water out) and drain the block/heater. I also have a battery tender in the boat too.

We try to ride all winter (near Seattle), so the next time I take the boat out, unplug the power strip running everything, tow down to the launch, pull the power strip out with every thing still plugged into it, drop the seats in and go! Works great.

I drain the block and heater at the launch, put the heaters back in cover it, head home and plug it back in.

Since I use the boat every month, I don't worry about flogging the engine.

I have never heard of anyone having a fire related problem.

By Noel Louthan (noel) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 1:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
You can also use a product called Damp Rid to keep the inside dry. It is a plastic cup full of little white beads. The beads absorb the moisture. Surely not as effective as an electric dehumidifier, but a lot simpler. You can get it at Home Depot, Target, Rite Aid, etc.

By Mark Hultgren (suzmar1997) on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 5:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I keep mine in the driveway with the towing cover and then a portable garage/tent from Costco. It's worked for this boat and my old MC until today. Pulled into my driveway to find the tent propped up on the top of my fence (Approximately 6 feet high) and extending back from there resting upside down upon the top of my tree (20-25 feet high)my neighbors roof and my neighbors cable and phone lines. I used 25 lb. weights at each leg which were now hanging and swinging in the wind. Almost took out my neighbors 20x15 bay window ($$)but was able to unhook the weights before it struck the window. Needless to say it took 3 of my friends a knife and the destruction of the cover to get it down. Know i'm scrambling to get some tarps to cover the thing before the next storm hits. Anybody know of a reasonable indoor storage facility in So. CA LA/OC area?
By Bradley Beach (bbeach) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 6:58 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I would agree with Sean's way of doing it, except I would add one thing to this process. Stuff your exhaust ports with clean towels to keep animals from nesting up in the exhaust ports. Just don't forget to remove them when you take your boat out in the spring!
By Peter Chandler (peter_c) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 7:29 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Dane, do you plan on leaving it on the lift or in the front yard? Why not put it in the garage sideways taking up the entire garage? The biggest thing to do is use a top quality cover and make sure it is shaped like a tent. If it has low spots that collect water it will drip though. The easiest way to do this is to use plastic pipes cut with a notch in them. Then put a rope from the front to the back. Much easier on the trailer as you can tie the cover down to the trailer. The cover needs to be taunt enough so it is like a drum. That is how I used to store my boat and even after a storm like the one we just had it would be perfectly dry inside.

If your cover is older there is a product called Nikwax that REI sells or it can be bought online. Takes about two bottles. This will re-waterproof your cover. I did mine in a laundry mat as a cover is huge and thick.

If you want I can post a couple of pictures for how I used to do mine. Just not right now.

By A. P. (bigdad) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 7:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Mark,

I too have one of those portable garages that I use for my boat. Those strong winds were kicking it up and moving it around and almost blew it away. I was able to minimize the movement and keep it from blowing away by tying the top cross beams down to the boat with rope. I don't think the wind can lift up 4000 pounds.

By Susie (susieq) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 9:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Ditto here on the portable garage thing. Weighting it didn't work out for me of my friends brought his hammer drill and some red heads and screwed the feet to the concrete pad. We also used tie downs from the crossbeams to the trailer. If you ever need to move it you just pound the screws in the rest of the way..hardly leaves a mark in the concrete. Worked awesome. Now if I could only figure out how to keep the darn tarp from making so much noise in the wind
By Mark Hultgren (suzmar1997) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 11:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah, I figured I had enough weight to it because it made it through some heavy winds last year, but I added an extra tarp in the back to cover the rear end as it sticks out the back of the tent and I think that was the straw that broke the camels back. In hindsight I would have been fine if I would have just tied the center beam to the boat or screwed the support legs into the slab, but now i think i'm just gonna use a bunch of tarps and cover it tightly with those. I'm sure my neighbors will enjoy their new view out of their windows.
By John Jarman (disbemrj) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 11:33 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have the same costco 10x20 canopy. I have the legs mounted into 1 gallon paint cans filled with cement and a 1 foot section of 2" PVC which the legs slide into. Before the storm I tied the top beams of the canopy to the trailer. It did move around a little bit, but the boat is still nice and dry. Just hard to sleep at night hearing that wind blowing on that huge canopy and worrying about it blowing apart.

The cover on my neighbors bayliner ended up in the street and his boat, with plugs still in, with about 4 inches of water in it. For the money that canopy is great deal.

By Bruce Batcheller (bjbatch) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 11:59 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mark H. - I keep my boat under carport storage in Irvine. The back is a brick wall, and the entire boat is covered under the carport. It never gets a drop of moisture on it. I think this is the most cost-effective option in Southern Cal. If you want details, drop me an e-mail.
By scott wilson (gfyone) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 1:22 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I had one of those carport things, the city i live in made me take it down. Now I have to store my boat 45 minutes away....
By Jake sonnevelt (wakeboardbum247) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 3:23 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
make use for pws put the pwc's on it to weight it down
By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 3:37 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I don't know how long you plan on having your boat Out of operation but couldn't you get the shrink wrap stuff. If you plan on having your boat put away for some month's it seems it would be the cheepest and seems like it would be almost air tight, so it wouldn't fly off in Heavy wind's or a storm. I know last week was a good one for the Bay Aera
By A. P. (bigdad) on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 8:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey John,

Thanks for the paint can cement idea. I was pretty certain that the canopy wouldn't blow away but I wasn't sure exactly how I would keep the legs from dancing around. Even with the canopy tied down tight, the legs dance around like the cement is too hot to touch. Reading your post I think I got a good idea of what you are talking about but if you can provide any pictures, that would be great.

By Cliff Griffin (seattle) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 7:37 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

I built a hybrid frame made of wood, with a portable style top I purchased from Here are a few pics.

By Susie (susieq) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:09 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey - do any of you guys know where you can purchase replacement tarps for the costco car covers?? This last storm has mine pretty well shredded.
By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mine is safely tucked away in the garage. Just thought I'd rub it in.

My Nazi board (aka covenant board) won't allow structures like Cliff's.

By jan w (jwag) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:24 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
go have a custom cover made out of sunbrella, I am in norcal and dont use a heater or a fan and the boat stays very dry inside. The sunbrella material breathes very well and is super waterproof. Palo Alto Upholstery did mine and it was about $600. Pricey I know but well worth it if you don't have a garage. I don't worry about a thing when that cover is on the boat. If you go with the tarp system, the boat will get damp inside because the tarp will not breathe and trap moisture.
By Matt Legge (leggester) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You hang your freakin lawn mower up?

Holy Geez, someone call the A-retentive police!!!

Wait, wait a minute, I think I see a shovel that isn't freshly painted! Shame on you, it may get a spot rust on it.

By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:30 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
No, that's my snow blower.

I'll get right on that shovel!

By John Jarman (disbemrj) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'll see if I can post some pictures of my cement in the paint can legs for you. Probably won't be until the weekend as I am trying to wrap up things at work for a week off.

By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:57 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Swass you should "Clean up your Garage" you can hang the rest of the stuff you have on the floor on the bare walls they look lonley' Or mabey you can use you tower as mount for the rest of your garden tool's
By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 9:58 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

By GRAMPS (akman) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 10:02 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Swass, I like your "winnie the pooh" chair!
By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 10:18 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You leave my Pooh chair alone! Hater.

It is dirty, I confess.

I like your tower setup, Grant. I'm totally jealous.

By Dave Vincent (baja) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 10:53 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
It's way to organized, I wouldn't be able to find anything.
By Greg (oaf) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 10:55 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I am in transition from storing my boat indoors and right now in So Cal it has been raining quite a bit. I bought two 16x12 tarps from costco (blue / silver) for $11.99. And some bunge cords for another $5.00. I put my boat cover on then cover the boat with the two tarps using the bunge cords around the trailer. I made two lifts for the open bow and back seats with 2x4 cut to make a stand with a pie tin on top so the water will not build up. I checked on it yesterday and it worked great. The tarps repell the water and the inside was dry. I was thinking about getting some of that dry chemical stuff above to keep mildew from forming. But for under $20 bucks it is a great solution for keeping a boat outside. The big canopies sound like a good idea but are costly and need to be drilled into the ground.
By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 11:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Swass: The tower is getting another set of B-50's as we speek, So my tower and your walls will have somthing in common "NO ROOM" for anything else.
By Matt Legge (leggester) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 11:19 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I can't believe that even the trash can in Swass' garage has a bottle of cleaner on it!

You don't have any room to hang a rack in there.

By A. P. (bigdad) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 11:21 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Susie,

There are a number of places on the internet that sell canopies. Just type in canopies on google or other search engine. But I know Overton's does sell the replacement canopies.


That would be great if you can get some pics. I think I know what you are talking about but I kind of want to see what it would look like.


By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 11:39 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Oh yes I do! It'll go on the back wall between the speakers.

We should hook up this weekend some time.

By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 11:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You'd find your way around, Dave. How old is your little man? He looks ready!

Another set, Grant?!? Bastard!

By Dave Vincent (baja) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 12:23 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yea I'm sure I would but I'm just trying to convince myself that I don't have garage envy.

He just turned 2 in November.Unfortunatly he enjoys the water a little to much for my comfort at his age, he has a tendency to jump/fall in at will.

By Matt Legge (leggester) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 12:36 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I'll bring your numbers home.

I'm off all next week, so it looks pretty open.

By scott wilson (gfyone) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 12:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I very much have garage envy... I barely have room to turn around in mine
By dane (greatdane) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 1:30 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
My garage is 20' x 20'.
My ideal garage would be 3 wide and 2 deep.

I also have garage envy.

Life in a hugely expensive 1550 sqft house with a 20x20 garage and a postage stamp yard in SF area.

By swass (swass) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 2:12 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey, Dane, did you look into the shrinkwrap? If you put a bucket of that moisture absorbing stuff in there before wrapping, you shouldn't have any problems.
By GRAMPS (akman) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 3:25 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I leave my boat in the driveway all year, in the summer it isn't an issue as far as drying out. In the winter I put a small turbo fan in the bow and a bucket of "No Damp" under the cover. I prop the observer seat open about 2 inches as well as the engine hatch. The carpet and boat dries out no problem in a day.

My MC cover came with 3 tent poles to prop it up for run-off. It has snaps on the poles and inside the cover to keep it up.

By Darren Yearsley (ralph) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 4:09 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
That damp rid stuff is the bomb, my boats so dry its a fire risk.
By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 4:32 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
20 X 20 your just Inches to short to fit straight in. Bummer
By Rene Rioux (norcal_99) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 4:56 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Let me drive that scooter around.

By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 5:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
That scooter goes 100 MPH Im not kidding It's a blast
By Larry Lawrence (larry6) on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 12:58 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here is a squeeeeeeez for ya!!


By swass (swass) on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 1:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Dude, kick that Chevy to the curb!
By swass (swass) on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 2:07 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
What's the verdict, Dane?
By dane (greatdane) on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 2:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
1) dry and clean boat
got wet because cover ponded
lysol mildew potential
use de-humidifier
2) eliminate cover ponding
bungie cord sides
pole within boat
3) put de-humidifier under cover
on a timer to run 1hr per day

Someday: a permanent cover/awning.

By charlie alexander (charlie) on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 10:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
susie, I have one of those costo canopies also. Mine is secured into the concrete with redhats, just like yours. I was able to minimumize the motion of the canvas sides by running an old ski rope from one pole to the back, then around and back up to the fron on the outside of the tent, then another rope from pole to pole on the inside. Ran both lines about half way up from the floor. This "sandwiches" the walls between the ropes and prevents them from "whipping". This past week we had 50mph winds and a lot of rain here where I live, but the tent stayed still and the tarps show no damage, although I can't say that for most of the fences and trees around here.
By Phaeton (phaeton) on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 7:11 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I started with a Costco cover. I then purchased a bunch of exhaust tubing and went to work. I raised it 3 feet. Widened it 2 feet and lengthened it 5 feet. I covered it with the steel used in metal buildings. Added a door, three windows, ceiling fan, lights, and heater. The next thing I need to do is a garage door and insulate it. For now I used the old white tarp for the garage door. I will end up having around $2500 into it and the best part is that it is not a permanent structure so I didn't need a building permit.
By John Jarman (disbemrj) on Saturday, December 21, 2002 - 7:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Here you go. I know I could have used the mounts that came with the canopy, but I didn't want to permanently mount the canopy. Even in the big storm last week this method seemed to work o.k.

By Patrick (faceplant409) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 12:57 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I use a silver tarp over the canvas cover and three Driz-air baskets. Zero water in. Zero mold. After 3 winters the boat still smells like new. Fortunately, my baby will get to move into her new 21'X 25'garage next spring.

By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 2:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
you "Hillbillys" put you boat inside where it belongs
By Phaeton (phaeton) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 4:40 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Grant the garage design is really bad in my house. I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. My garage is only 20' deep. Then they went ahead and put the water heater and furnace against the back wall right in the middle of the garage. Doh
By Grant (mtbmudmachine) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 11:23 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
J/K I know what ya talking about. My garage was the same I had to remove my water heater and install a wall mounted insta-hot and also re-locate my washer and dryer to fit my boat in. But it's worth it. Spending money on a storage place is like throwing money out the window, Been there done that with a RV
By A. P. (bigdad) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 12:27 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks John,
Thats what I figured you were talking about.I store my boat at my parents house and I came to visit one time and saw all these ropes tied everywhere. Talk about looking Ghetto. I guess one of the last storms had such a strong wind my dad was worried it was going to be blown away. So I definitely will use your paint can cement idea

By dane (greatdane) on Sunday, December 22, 2002 - 2:36 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thanks for all the help!

I spent Saturday cleaning the boat out. Flushed the bilge out with simple green and hot water. Cleaned the carpet with with lysol and my bissle machine. I also ran a heater/fan for 24 hrs under the cover to dry it out. Now. the boat is actually looking and smelling like new again.

In addition, I stretched a couple of bungies from the center of the top of the wind-shield to the top of the rear pylon to help "tent" the cover. This combined with bungies pulling the cover tight left/right looks like a setup that will work. I think the boat will remain dry now.

By Susie (susieq) on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 10:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Charlie - Yeah that was some storm we had last week..I lost a tree. I actually tried something similar to your idea, but I pulled the rope too tight and it ended up ripping the grommets out. I think I need to try it again with new sides.

So, what kind of ideas does anyone have for raising it up about 14" to fit my tower underneath?? Right now my tower is hanging in my garage and is a real hazard...I've already ended up on my tucus once after running into it. Not to mention that it takes me and at least a couple friends to put it on everytime I want to take the boat out.

By Mike Smith (bond) on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 11:45 am:    Edit Post Delete Post


By Allt (allterr1) on Monday, December 23, 2002 - 11:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
I have the Costco-type canopy also. I used to have to raise and lower the tower every time, and it is a pain. What I did was get some cinder blocks, put 2 side by side, then stack 2 more on top of them. Then get some 5 gal. buckets, fill 1/2 way with sand, then put poles in. Fill rest up with concrete. Now i can keep the tower up with about 3" of clearance, and it doesn't blow over in storms due to the 300 lbs of Quickrete. I can post pics if anyone needs them.
By charlie alexander (charlie) on Wednesday, December 25, 2002 - 11:39 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Susie, I take my tower off too, but I put it in the canopy with the boat. I bought 4 small dollys from orchard supply hardware. The kind that have three wheels on a triangular base. I then bolted a non-swiveling caster upside down in the center of each one and removed the caster wheel, leaving just the two caster supports sticking up. When I remove the tower I put a small bolt through the prongs of this upside down caster and secure each leg of the tower to its own little three wheel dolly. Once I have all 4 on, it is a simple matter to easily and safely ROLL around the entire tower on the attached dollys. I just roll it in at the nose of the boat and the tower fits fine. (Sorry about your head.) I built these dollys for about $8 apiece. I was thinking seriously about raising my canopy like so many have done, and especially like reading Allt's idea because it is simple and secure. But I always have help and removal (for me) is only 4 pins. And I only use the canopy during rainy season, its only a few months anyway.
By dane (greatdane) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 5:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
We have had an amazing amount of wind and rain in nCAL this December.

So far, my properly "tented" boat cover is doing the trick. I checked on the boat this weekend and it is dry and nice smelling (air freshner) under the cover.

Next year, I need to get that built in cover!

By MIKE O (batman) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 9:03 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
dane, I made me a little rig from 3/4 pvc that goes from pylon to windshield and keeps the cover upright and water from ponding as long as sides are pulled tight properly. A picture is in my gallery on Malibu Boat Owners
By dane (greatdane) on Wednesday, January 01, 2003 - 11:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Mike, thanks. I did effectively the same thing with two long bungie cords stretched between a pvc cap on the plylon and the center pin on the windshield. Its working good.

By Susie (susieq) on Thursday, January 02, 2003 - 11:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Charlie - that's an awesome idea. That would work great for moving it around, keeping the tower feet from getting banged up and I think it would still fit under the cover, but I still have the problem of getting it on and off the boat - I need a crane - or a husband - nahh - a crane definitely. I have a narrow space and I think the paint cans would take up too much room. I've been thinking about making some kind of sleeve out of heavy schedule pvc or galv pipe and anchoring that to the concrete to extend the existing legs. I'm just not sure if that would make it too unstable.
By charlie alexander (charlie) on Sunday, January 05, 2003 - 1:47 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
susie, if you need a crane then try this.. if you are moderately handy with tools why not build yourself a temporary free-standing frame that dissassembles and stores flat. It will go over your tower allowing you to lift it off and lower it down to the ground after you move the boat out from under. 6 2X4's (3 per side in a triangle) and a piece of 3/4" galvanized pipe across the top and you are all done.
By Nick Heckerson (kstateskier) on Tuesday, January 21, 2003 - 6:05 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
At least you don't have to store the crap for an entire ski team. This is a lot cleaner than it was earlier in the year when the team was traveling every week. Oh, and my roommates Sportster fits in a lot better than the Centurion. I didn't think it would fit, but one day I tried, about 1/2" on each end. And the thing I have always found funny about boaters, the '94 Tantrum is in the garage, while 4 new vehicles sit outside!

(Message edited by kstateskier on January 21, 2003)

By Dan Sullivan (danno) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 10:24 am:    Edit Post Delete Post


By Dan Sullivan (danno) on Wednesday, January 22, 2003 - 10:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Don't misunderstand me, we have winter in San Diego too.

I think it was on a Wednesday last year, wasn't it?

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