Your Boat is a Big Investment: Keep it Safe and Protected in Self Storage

Unless you’re the captain of the Flying Dutchman, the legendary ghost ship doomed to forever sail the oceans, it’s that time of year to think about storing your watercraft for the colder months.

It can be very costly to store your boat at the marina for the winter months or when you’re unable to use it for an extended period of time. Trying to store it at home is inconvenient and can be a security risk. It takes up space in your driveway or elsewhere on your property and is exposed to theft and vandalism. A better solution would be to store your boat in a conventional storage unit that has sufficient space for your boat and trailer, or a secure outdoor parking area. Your jet skis, kayaks, and canoes can be stored right along with your boat. Storing with us is far less hassle for you and a safe, secure option for all your watercraft.

Here are some tips to help you get your boat prepared for storage. Some extra work now will have your boat in pristine condition and waiting for you when the warmer weather arrives.

Get Your Boat Ready for Storage

Clean the Hull and Deck

You’ll be storing your boat for an entire season. You want it clean and free of last summer’s trash when you’re ready to put it in the water next summer.

Add a Fuel Stabilizer and Fill the Tank

Condensation can form in an empty gas tank, causing corrosion or worse if the moisture freezes. Fuel stabilizer will prevent this from happening and your fuel will be ready to go when you are.

Change the Oil

Water or acids that have gotten into your oil can corrode the engine. Change the filter and flush it out so that no water remains. Then, add new oil.

Refresh the Coolant System

Drain the current coolant, flush with water, and fill with fresh antifreeze. Make sure you’ve diluted the antifreeze to specification. This will protect your engine from freezing and corrosion.

Disconnect the Battery

Don’t allow your battery to drain over the winter. Disconnect it and top it off with distilled water. Charge it periodically to make sure it’s ready to go when you hook it back up to your boat.

Grease the Steering Mechanism

Grease the steering and control mechanisms so that they will be moving smoothly when it’s time to take the boat out again.

Remove the Drive Belts

Before storing your boat, loosen or remove the drive belts. They may crack under the stress of being kept under tension for long periods of time.

Maintain the Interior of Your Boat

If you have electronics in your boat, they are vulnerable to extreme cold and moisture. Remove them prior to storage. Leather, canvas, and any other organic fabrics should be removed to prevent mold and mildew. Empty the water tanks and run antifreeze through the pipes.

Wash and Wax the Exterior

Cover the body of your boat with wax. This will prevent rust from corroding your boat’s exterior and is particularly important if you are storing your boat outside.

Use A Cover

cover is not merely an accessory, it is a necessity. A cover can be a significant investment, but it will protect your boat from moisture, mold, fading, cracking and animals as well as being a theft deterrent.   

Here at Universal Storage we can offer you a convenient, affordable, and secure facility to not only store, but protect your watercraft. Any one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss your boat storage options.

Spooky Self Storage: Be Careful When You Store Your Halloween Decorations

Goblins and witches and werewolves, oh my! It’s that spooky time of year again, and Halloween is only a few weeks away. You’re busy carving pumpkins, decorating your front yard, and buying Halloween treats. Decorations for this scary night have come a long way in the last decade. In the past, a glowing jack-o-lantern was the traditional decoration. If you carved one with unique features, it was a big deal. Now we have everything from strings of purple and orange lights to a 6 foot animated Freddy Kreuger.

Costumes have also evolved through the years, and there is no shortage of ideas. Specialty Halloween stores lure you with a variety of weird costumes and frightening masks, and they’re not inexpensive. You can be anything from a glittering emoji to Demogorgon from Stranger Things. Couples, group and family costumes are available in everything from Scooby Doo to Harry Potter. There are no limits to your Halloween vision.

After a festive night of trick or treating, you’ll want to put those costumes and decorations back into your self storage unit. Deflate your inflatables, pack up those costumes, and bubble wrap the animatronics. But, be warned, there are certain spooky creatures that you may want to avoid storing in your unit. 

If You Store These Spooky Creatures, Be Ready for Trouble

Skeletons

That bag of bones looks harmless enough, but they have some nasty habits. Skeletons love to dress up. They will tear open your bags and boxes to find their idea of a perfect outfit (don’t ask). After they dress up they “party like it’s your birthday.” Their idea of a good time is making a mess (just like your kids). They’ll tear open boxes, overturn shelving and then break down the rolling door so that they can find the nearest graveyard and hang out with the “walking dead.”

Witches

Witches are the mean girls of the netherworld. Their idea of a good time is casting spells on creatures and humans that they don’t like. Remember The Craft? If you put them in your storage unit they’re sure to make trouble with the ghouls and werewolves. Before long they will be fighting with all of the other creatures and lighting fires under the cauldron so they can brew magic potions. Try explaining that to the fire department.

Ghouls

Ghouls drool. There’s no getting around it. They will slobber all over everything in the unit. You’ll have creepy mold and mildew everywhere. And when they slobber into the witch’s cauldron, there will be an argument that will make an eruption at Mt. St. Helens look like the overflow from a shaken can of Coke. The screeching and howling will wake the dead, who will join the party.

Ghosts

Ghosts are quiet. They won’t make much noise, and they’ll walk through boxes and walls without destroying any of your stored items. But you’ll be sorry if you store them in your unit. They are super mischievous. These ghostly troublemakers will fly all over the property trying to scare the staff and prospective customers. If you store paperwork in your unit, they’ll rearrange it and change names and numbers. They’ll put your Christmas ornaments in with your Easter baskets and change the lock on your unit. It’s time to buy some bolt cutters.

Werewolves

Storing a werewolf in your unit is just asking for trouble. Because of their shape-shifting power, you might think you’re storing a cute little lion cub. But, as soon as you close and lock the door, that huge werewolf will break out and start looking for dinner. If he decides to bring his meal back to his new home and eat in the unit, you’ll be overrun with creatures of a different variety.

Vampires

Never store vampires and werewolves in the same unit. Everything you own will be bloodstained and covered in bite marks. There will be some ugly conflicts because they have a strong dislike for each other. Vampires think of themselves as aristocratic, whereas werewolves are more laid back. Think Prince Philip and Larry the Cable Guy. Be sure to visit only during the day, and keep your wooden stake and silver bullets handy. If there’s a confrontation, you don’t want to be in the middle. They clearly don’t like each other. It’s really an issue of superiority complexes: who is the bigger, badder creature? 

Take Away

You all know we’re only kidding. These creatures don’t really exist. You buy them at the Halloween store in the form of animatronics, inflatables, or just plain old decorations, use them for Halloween and then put them in storage. This was all just a crazy Halloween joke. Or was it?