Storing Your Boat for the Winter

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With colder weather coming fast, you’re definitely going to begin checking out winter boat storage prices if you’re into boating. And you’re not the only one. More than 34 million households include at least one boating enthusiast. That’s plenty of people who love being on the water.

Now, in addition to looking into winter boat storage prices, you’ll want to take care of a few things to ensure that your boat stays in tip-top shape for months. Remember: It’s not just about winter boat storage prices, although you’ll definitely want to get the best deal possible. It’s also about preparing to protect your boat investment.

If you’re ready to move beyond checking into winter boat storage prices and take care of your seafaring vessel of choice, read on for ten tips on storing your boat during wintertime months.

Take It Out for a Final Run on the Water

As long as the water hasn’t frozen over, you can probably take your boat out for one last trip. While you’re there, resist the temptation to make phone calls to find out about winter boat storage prices and take a few moments to listen and feel your boat.

Do you notice anything that sounds concerning? Is your boat handling okay? Does it seem like the engine is humming along? Be as thorough in your analysis as you can. Make sure you jot down any concerns so you’ll remember them later. After all, you’ll want to check out and repair your boat before you put it into storage for weeks on end.

Not sure if the boat is handling okay? Did you buy a new boat that you’re not yet accustomed to piloting? Try your best to be diligent. In the meantime, make sure that you enjoy one last hurrah. You might want to take a picture or two, just to remember your last boating adventure until after the holidays.

Clean the Boat From Aft to Stern

After your final spin in your boat, you need to get down to business. Start by cleaning your boat inside and out.

You can use warm, soapy water to scour all the hard surfaces of your boat. If you have soft surfaces, such as leather on the seats, be sure to choose the correct product. It may take several hours to get the job fully done. Take your time and get it finished correctly. Doing it fast will only lead to problems down the road.

Of course, you can’t proceed with a wet or damp boat. Therefore, you’ll want to let it air dry. From that point, you can wax it up if needed to give it a nice shine. The better your boat looks when you put it into storage after finding the place with the most reasonable winter boat storage prices, the better it will look when you take it out again.

Prepare the Engine and Other Moving Parts

You wouldn’t put a car into a storage unit without checking all its moving parts, would you? So don’t store your boat for the winter without going through a once-over of its engine and other internal mechanical works.

Should you do this type of examination on your own? Maybe. You just need to have comfort around engines, gas tanks, and related equipment. Not sure it’s something you want to do alone? Winterize everything with a friend or take your boat to a technician.

If you just bought your boat over the summer, you may have received manuals and instructions to help you understand how to take care of your investment. Re-read them, or look them over for the first time. They may contain winterization tidbits specific to the make and model of boat that you purchased.

On the other hand, if your boat has been around the block a time or two, you still shouldn’t skip this step. Even if you’ve gotten away with storing your boat over the winter without giving the engine or fuel tank some TLC, you’ve honestly been lucky. Rather than wait for your luck to run out, make this year the time to tackle this project.

Bring Your Boat Home

At this point, you can bring your boat home or wherever it’s going to be housed temporarily until you find a location with attractive winter boat storage prices. Be sure to protect it for the journey with the custom boat covers so that you’re not unnecessarily exposing any part of it to the elements.

How are you going to get your boat back? Some people just tow their boats behind their vehicles if they have the right kind of trailer and hitch combination. Other boaters prefer to hire professional scheduled towing service providers to do the work for them. If you’re paying other people to clean and winterize your boat and you can’t be present, you will probably want to get someone else to bring the boat to you.

Remember that you shouldn’t try to tow a boat without the right equipment. Trying to just tie down a smaller boat in the bed of a large truck can end in disaster.

Ultimately, your boat will be back at your home and you can proceed to the next step, which is turning the boat into more of a skeleton.

Remove Anything That Doesn’t Need to Be Stored With Your Boat

You’ve cleaned your boat. You’ve winterized all the moving parts. While you’re still searching for winter boat storage prices online, take one last trip around the interior and exterior. What are you looking for? Basically, anything that you haven’t already taken off the boat.

Items to be removed before storage could be safety equipment like flares and fire extinguishers, life jackets for everyone in the family, tools that you often use when on the water, fishing equipment, sunscreen, and related personal tidbits. Many of these items may need to be cleaned and sanitized, even if you didn’t use them. For instance, life jackets can take on musty odors just from being exposed too long to moist, humid air.

Could you leave some of your stuff in the boat? Of course. But it’s so much better if you’ve stripped your boat of everything that’s not important. This gives you the chance to start anew next spring when you bring it out of storage. Plus, you never know: You might decide to upgrade your boat and sell this one. In that case, your boat will already be ready for a buyer to check out without you having to remove personal effects.

Make Repairs to Your Boat

Remember when you were out on the water for one last jaunt? Now is the time for you to check out everything you wrote down that you were potentially concerned about. Depending upon the seriousness of the issues, you could go back to the boat dealer to have your boat worked on, or you could maybe even work on the boat yourself.

If you opt for the DIY route, be certain you have all the boat decking hardware supplies you need on hand. Set aside several days for the repairs or overhaul, especially if you think that you might need to wait for replacement parts to come in.

Of course, you may wonder if you should just hold off until springtime to take care of repairs. That isn’t a recommended move because it only prolongs the inevitable. Plus, your problem could get even worse as the internal workings of your boat sit in storage for weeks on end. Therefore, it’s better if you just pay for maintenance right away, even if it’s costlier than you’d prefer.

Pick Out Storage Options

By this point, you’ve already looked into plenty of winter boat storage prices at a variety of storage facilities. And if you’ve been doing your homework beyond just looking at the sticker cost, you’ll see that you have tons of storage options for your boat.

From wood storage sheds on people’s private property to professionally managed warehouses with climate controlled storage containers onsite, you can effortlessly find the right fit for your vessel.

To be sure, the more bells and whistles your indoor or outdoor storage choice has, the higher your winter boat storage prices will end up being. Consequently, your budget might have to guide your final pick.

Still not convinced that you’d like to pay to have your boat somewhere else? You could always consider figuring out a good way to store the boat on your premises without having it get in the way.

Consider Customized Storage on Your Home or Vacation Property

So you’ve decided that you want to keep your boat at your house or a vacation spot for the winter? No problem. But you’ll need either a large extra garage or a custom shed. If you’re leaning in the shed direction, do yourself a favor by calling some insulation contractors. Insulating your shed will help you keep it warm over the wintertime, which can be valuable.

How much will it cost to design and build this type of long-term storage on your premises? It will depend upon a number of factors, including how big your boat is and what types of materials you plan to use for your shed. The good news is that once your shed is paid for, it will give you a terrific, secure boat storage or even vehicle storage option for decades.

Think About Shrink Wrapping Your Boat

You’re just about ready to put your boat into storage. However, you’ll want to think about one more question. Namely, should you shrink-wrap your boat?

Shrink wrapping will help you seal the interior and some of the exterior of your boat. Essentially, nothing can gain access under the shrink wrap until you’re ready to open it up and expose your boat again.

The benefits of shrink-wrapping aren’t insignificant. Shrinkwrapping can help you ward off everything from mold growth to premature rusting of metal parts. Just make sure that you never have your boat shrink wrapped when it’s still damp. Otherwise, you could end up sealing in all the dampness and basically negating all the advantages that come with this process.

Make Sure Your Boat Is Safely Protected

As you move your boat into storage, take one last exploratory look at it. Are there any areas that could possibly become openings for pesky insects or curious rodents? Mice and other creatures like to nest in the winter in boats that are in storage facilities sometimes. Make sure your boat doesn’t become their home-away-from-home when it’s cold outside.

You should also ensure that your boat won’t get damaged. For instance, you might choose to store your boat in your oversized three-car garage. However, if it’s not properly situated, it could be in danger of getting hit by a vehicle. That’s the last thing you want, even though you’ll be saving money on winter boat storage prices by housing your boat in your home.

All in all, you deserve to have complete peace of mind. Knowing that your boat is unlikely to come to any harm while it’s in winter storage will allow you to take one more stressor off your plate.

Set a Schedule to Check on the Boat Over the Winter

This is probably the simplest of all steps you’re likely to encounter when storing your boat. It just involves adding a couple of important dates to your calendar. About every month or two, set aside time to just give your boat a once over. Make sure the shrink-wrap or tarp is still in place and be on the lookout for any odd sights or smells.

Your regular inspections shouldn’t take too long. If you’re paying someone to house your boat on their property and you can’t get to it in person, have them send you videos periodically.

Get Ready for Next Season

Now comes the real fun. You get to ask for holiday gifts from family and friends to support your boating adventures next spring! Who knows you may get one of those live bait aerated coolers you’ve seen advertised all over the place. Or you might get a more practical present like a first aid kit that includes at least one large waterproof bandage, just in case.

Regardless, get ready. Winter won’t last forever, which means you’ll be back on your properly stored boat in no time flat.

How to Manage Your Mental Health in Quarantine

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“The Coronavirus has inspired global chaos in a way that hasn’t been seen in recorded history.”
“The effects have been devastating and our world has been irrevocably changed.” We’ve all heard statements like these in the last few months. And even if you’ve been living under a rock you’ve been affected by this pandemic. The circumstances of it all have given many of us, all this time on our hands. Time we’re not used to. Time we’re not able to spend well.

Some of us try to keep up with the news about the outbreak as much as possible, it feels like perhaps there is some kind of control and stability in knowledge if nothing else. Others are burying our heads in the sand for the sake of our own sanity. Either way, neither process is making anything better and many of us are starting to see and feel the effects

Along with the economy and the healthcare system, mental health in quarantine has taken a solid nosedive. Reports show the rates of people seeking mental health professionals have gone up. Some even worry that there could be an increase in suicide rates due to social isolation and failing business ventures. Taking care of your mental health in quarantine is scary and can seem like a hard challenge.

Mental Health in Quarantine

Surely there are people with much worse problems than boredom and loneliness but humans are naturally social creatures. We need social communication to function normally and happily.

Solitary confinement is used as a last resort punishment for inmates in American prisons. Humanitarians argue this punishment is cruel and unusual, as it has led inmates to suicide as well as other terrible effects. Of course, the shutdown is nowhere near as isolating as solitary confinement but it can help us to understand just how important human interaction is for us as a species.

The regulations of social distancing are almost like state-mandated depression. For example, some of the tell-tale signs that someone is dealing with mental illness like depression include; social isolation and distancing, emotional despondency, sleeping a lot, turning to substances for relief, not properly taking care of yourself, hygienically or emotionally.

I’m sure many of us can identify these traits in our friends or loved ones, or possibly even ourselves. Sure, a few days of sleeping in, staying in your PJ’s doing nothing all day is perfectly healthy. Probably good for you if you’re usually running around a lot. But many people lost their job and have nothing but empty stretches of time in front of them. To help pass these large empty blocks of time, some are abusing alcohol or other drugs, or turn to other unhealthy habits like overeating.

Situations like these are nervewracking, as dependency on drugs can lead down some scary avenues. Some people had dependency issues from before the pandemic that is only being given the opportunity to grow under this Petree dish of humanity. If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drug dependency it can be particularly scary since many resources for helping are closed right now. However, there are still virtual AA meetings that can be attended, and something like a family intervention can always make a big difference in these cases.

What Can We Do?

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With all the high emotion and panic in people, its important to continue with as much positive social interaction as we can. If you live with people (family, roommates, etc), close-quarters interactions are inevitable, and avoiding bumping elbows in the hall can be difficult. So keeping these connections and conversations honest and open is in your best interest. This will help with your social health and a mental health one.

It’s important to remember not everyone is in a situation like this. Some people may have been living alone before Corona and are suffering from even higher amounts of isolation than those living with family members.

Other people have toxic living dynamics, whether with their family, partner, or roommates. In cases like this, the lockdown mandate is a higher-level of stressful, potentially scary, and undoubtedly isolating.

For some, getting out of the house to go to work or see their friends meant getting away from a toxic home environment. We don’t always know about these situations, regardless, keeping in contact with friends is not just helpful for you. Keeping up mental health in quarantine is no small feat.

The most satiating form of digital communication during the coronavirus is undoubtedly video chatting. If you have a smartphone or laptop with a webcam, you can video chat with friends, family, coworkers, and anyone else you wanna see.

These modes of communication are already in use a lot by non-necessary jobs that can still be handled on the computer from home. Many companies use programs like Zoom or Google hangouts to communicate with each other while working remotely. This way your people can keep getting a salary and stay safe from the virus. Many note that working during this trying time and can serve as a good distraction. Your brain is more occupied than it would be otherwise.

Of course, not everyone can work from home and it’s those people that are having more issues with their mental health generally. If you’re at home with no work and feeling hopeless, then digital communication is even more important for you. Make sure to facetime or at least text with your friends and loved ones at this time. Reaching out is the only way to let people know how you’re feeling and what is going on with you.

Looking Towards the Future

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One of the best things you can do to help pass the time is to try to think about the future when we’re all able to go out and interact normally again. Perhaps if you have a lot of time on your hands, even mentally, planning for the future could be a wise thing to do. This can keep your mind sharp and focused on something that isn’t the deterioration of society as we knew it.

You could take a more practical approach to your daydreams of the future, and start planning out a new business venture to start up. Perhaps you’ve always thought you would be a great entrepreneur but never had the time to plan everything out. Make up a business plan and call friends or family who could help you out with it. Turn your personal project into a social activity for you and friends or loved ones. Set up opportunities to get a loan once you’re business plan is built.

Perhaps for some of us, that sounds a bit too stressful to try to take on. Instead, you may prefer to plan for a romantic getaway with your honey. Imagining yourself on an island paradise in a bikini with an umbrella drink in hand certainly sounds more exciting than sitting on the couch in your sweats again.

The daydreaming can be more fruitful than that, you could look up flight deals for the future, and actually plan out an island getaway from sometime later in the summer or early fall. Perhaps start looking into engagement ring financing if you’d like this romantic getaway to be a life-altering one.

There is a lot to plan with a vacation, from hotels and resorts to transportation services. Finding the best beaches in the location you chose, or fun activities you can do there. Even if this island getaway is nothing more than a fantasy, it can still be a good distraction while passing the time. Anything keeping your mind off the world’s potential end is always preferable.

If you still have revenue for making money, this could be a great opportunity to try and save up a little. Perhaps there’s a big investment you’ve been wanting to make, maybe you need a new computer or something bigger like a car or house.

With social distancing in place, there is a lot less money being spent by the average consumer (hence the whole economy crashing thing). So saving up some extra money, for when you can spend it, will help the economy get back on its feet quicker. Plus you can get that designer dress you’ve been wanting for a while or you could finally go for that highly effecting balding treatment.

It can be hard for some people to focus on the positive during all this. But if you are able to see that the glass really is half full, then its a good practice to keep up during this time. It will not only help you get through this trying time, but you may end up a beacon for others around you.

When Distracting Yourself Isn’t Enough

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But some of us just don’t see things that way. Some of us are too clouded with anxiety and sadness to notice a stray silver lining. Going through periods like this is normal and part of the natural ebb and flow of being a human but when you are unable to escape the storm clouds, that’s when there may be cause for some concern.

If you’re finding yourself in a state like this, it’s important to let someone know. At the very least it will be helpful to let your doctor know what’s going on as they may be able to give you a referral to a mental health specialist. This is the best option if you’re looking to improve your mental health in quarantine.

But talking to your doctor can also help to rule out certain other things that may be causing issues. Perhaps you’ve been having trouble sleeping from the anxiety of it all. Possible a simple sleep aid supplement would be able to make a big difference. Getting the proper sleep required is very important for your mental wellbeing.

Depending on the laws of where you live, some doctors even prescribe marijuana as a medicinal treatment source. Due to studies showing the health benefits of the herb it has now become a common medicine. If there are cannabis dispensaries in your state, you may be able to get a prescription for marijuana.

But dealing with mental health in quarantine isn’t always so simple. With people not having jobs, that also means people aren’t receiving their regular health benefits. This means fewer people will have access to mental health services. If you’re looking for cost-conscious treatments there are a number of good sources available;

Apps like Pacifica are very inexpensive and have daily mental health tips and reminders. Sites like BetterHelp have free trials and are on the lower end of monthly payments for mental health services. These can help greatly with mental health in quarantine. CIMHS has a free program designed to help people manage their depression. There are medical professionals posting information on sites like youtube about how to deal with these issues, as well as guided meditations and yoga explicitly designed to aid with calming one’s mind.

If things are beyond the point of digital counseling, the national suicide prevention hotline’s number is 1-800-273-8255. For LGBT individuals looking for specialized help during this time, the Trevor Project’s hotline number is 1-866-488-7386.

This Will Not Last Forever

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No matter how your mental health in quarantine is, it’s important to remember that this will not last forever. We will have parties and eat at restaurants and hug our friends again. There will be sports matches, and concerts and summer arts festivals again. Try to be kind to yourself and others during this trying time.