If you know anything about boating, it’s that what you do now can set you up for success in the future. There are a lot of different things that you’ll need to do to prepare for next season. Too often, when people are closing up for the winter, they only think about winter prep or taking care of it right now. However, if you do a little planning, you can rearrange your dock prep and add a couple of extra steps that will make it easy for you to reopen in the spring and get back on the water.
Take Inventory and Check for Issues
While you’re packing up and closing things down, take the time to consider all of your accessories, components, and the parts of your dock that see the most use. Are they in good condition? It can be tempting to pack things up and winterize your dock, and try to make a note of things that you’ll need to replace in the spring, but why not just do it now?
When you get ahead of the game, you will:
- Find end-of-season specials on parts, components, and DIY dock accessories that you may need to replace. The spring prices will be higher, or at least back to normal, but seasonal clearances are a great way to stock up for less.
- Give yourself an easier time finding what you need, because you have more time to look for it and you’re not anxious to get out on the water.
- Know that you’re ready for the next season and that there will be no surprises upon opening your dock and getting your boat ready for the water.
Is it Time to Upgrade?
Again, now is the time to ask yourself if you’re in the market for a new dock or dock upgrade of some kind. Sure, adding on in the spring or updating with the new season can be a good choice, and you might not think that your new components should be left to sit all winter. However, you’re already winterizing and preparing your boat for next season, so why not replace what you want now? That way, again, you’ll be able to hit the water and have a good time without having to think about it in the spring.
Whether you want a whole new dock setup or you just need some new parts and accessories, between the end-of-season sales and the ability to just pick up and enjoy the water next spring, now is the time to consider any purchases that you’re going to make. If you’re not sure, talk to the professionals before you buy, but it should be easy to get the accessories and upgrades you want now so that you’re ready to go next season.
Store and Secure Everything
This might seem obvious, but sometimes it can be tempting to leave some items out or only partially winterize and pack things away if you live in a climate where you think it “might not be that bad” this winter. Don’t second guess yourself. Store all of your accessories, and if you have a floating dock, secure it with ropes to ensure it doesn’t float right down the river with the ice jams over the winter. While you’re storing, this is a good time to go through what you have and check its condition to make sure that it doesn’t’ need to be replaced, as we discussed above.
Speaking of securing the dock, there are a lot of people who wonder about removing a floating dock from the water during the winter months. Ice damage is usually the biggest concern here, so people who live in colder climates and further north will always want to remove their docks to be safe. In states like Florida and Texas, it might not be necessary because the weather is milder, even in the winter months.
Another consideration is the material that your dock is made of. Modern DIY docks are made of corrosion-resistant materials and composites that can withstand a lot more abuse than traditional wood and metal. Plus, they come with floating bumpers and other accessories to keep them protected from all kinds of potential damage. It’s all about making the right decision for your dock, so think about the pros and cons of leaving versus pulling your dock for the season.
A Quick Recap
If you’ve been paying attention and taking notes, you should have a short checklist of times to cover to ensure that your boat is ready for the 2021 season. To help ensure that you cover everything we’ve discussed, here’s a brief list you can take with you:
- Check for items that need to be replaced or repaired while you are taking stock and packing things away.
- Decide whether or not your dock can stay in the water, and then follow the necessary winter prep steps based on where you live.
- Consider end-of-season sales and specials if you want to upgrade your dock or any of its components.
- Fall may be the best time to fully replace your DIY dock so that you’re ready to hit the water next spring.
- Talk to the pros about your dock and the options that you have so that you can make the most of your winterization and prep for next season. After all, the pros know best.
- If you’re looking to upgrade in 2021, consider doing it now instead, or at least selling components and accessories over the winter so that you’re ready to buy new in the spring.
Be Ready for a Good Time, Every Time
When you are proactive about your dock care and maintenance, it’s easier to make it through the various seasons and know that your items are protected. You’ll be able to make smarter decisions and have more selection for upgrades because you’re not just finding out about them at the last minute. Talk to the team at Tommy Docks about how to make this winter your chance to take your dock to the next level.