Ridetheducksofseattle is reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How Much Does It Cost to Winterize a Boat? A Cost Analysis

Written by Anthony Roberts / Fact checked by Jonathan Larson

How Much Does it Cost to Winterize a Boat

As a boat owner, you may be dreading when winter comes. Your vessel is an investment so you’re obliged to take care of it in the cold season. But, how much does it cost to winterize a boat? The average price when professionals do it for you is $300.

You may spend $150 on a smaller boat and a whopping $500 for larger ones! With this cost range, is it worth it? Is there a way to lower the amount of the expected charges? Do I need to rent boat storage which can be from $30 to $500 per month?

You can find the answers that you need in this article. So, keep reading.

Why is It Important to Winterize a Boat?

The struggle is real when it comes to winterizing a boat every year. When the snow is gone, you’ll have to de-winterize. How inconvenient is it?

The price that you pay for these procedures may intimidate you. But, both the interior and exterior of your boat will be well-protected.

Just remember that the cost of not winterizing your boat is even more devastating. There are several consequences that you will have to deal with. The formation of frozen liquid, to cite an example, will damage or expand your boat.

As for the boat’s interior, the formation of mold and mildew can corrode wires and metal parts. You may also need to replace an engine which is more expensive than what you spend on winterizing and de-winterizing your vessel.

The gel coating is affected when the temperature drops. It turns brittle right after exposure to freezing weather. In some cases, cracks on the hulls may appear too.

Even if you live in an area where you don’t exactly experience negative temperatures, don’t ignore the idea of winterizing as you aptly need it. According to a study, places with unstable temperatures require the most boat repairs.

It happens because boat owners don’t take the unexpected nature of the weather seriously. This is the same scenario with areas that don’t have severe weather conditions. Always bear in mind that a short period of exposure to winter can be disastrous.

What You Need Pay for Winterizing a Boat


Hiring Someone

Expect to pay more when hiring someone to winterize your boat. The average cost of professional service starts at $300 and varies from area to area.

A small vessel would cost $150 and $500 for a larger one. There will be an additional fee if you add accessories. Another fee will be added if you don’t have space for storing your boat during winter as well.

Again, the storage rates are not the same in all areas. The monthly rent may be as low as $30 or as high as $500. Of course, it also depends on the space that your boat occupies.

Quotes from a Boat Mechanic and Boat Shop

The quote from boat mechanics is reasonable as they don’t pay for utility bills of a shop. The payment is usually around $150, which is nearly the amount needed when committing to a DIY winterizing.

Does it sound favorable to hire a boat mechanic for you? Unfortunately, most of the mechanics charge a travel fee. Another downside is that you’re not always assured of quality service and the benefit of insurance.

But, if you’re able to find a reliable boat mechanic, then everything will turn out well. You no longer have to worry about the result of the job.

As you may have figured out, it’s more expensive to have a boat shop winterize your boat. The guaranteed quality, insurance, and the set of equipment used can sum up to a premium fee 0f $350 or more.

DIY Boat Winterizing

You can save money when winterizing your boat on your own. You don’t have to pay a professional fee, insurance, or other charges. At your convenience, you can finish it quickly by just spending around $70 to $150.

This is a chance for you to be hands-on on every step. As a responsible boat owner, you become well aware of which parts need to be protected the most. You learn more about how to properly take care of your beloved boat.

Collecting the things that you need is pretty easy as there’s a load of materials and kits available online and in the local marine store. They’re all accessible as the marine industry boosted the manufacturing of winterization products.

You can make a checklist so you don’t miss any necessary items. It’s not good to repeatedly come back to the store or order online. If you do these things, you’ll waste time, effort, and money without saving any bucks.

Everything has its ups and downs including the DIY winterization of a boat. First and foremost, trial and error will likely happen for beginners. If you’re one of them, you should be aware of the boat’s sensitive parts to cold weather.

To save you some time from identifying sensitive parts, they are fire extinguishers, flares, life jackets, and all electronics. Importantly, you have to use duct tape when sealing the exhaust post. It’s a process to prevent clogging.

The boat’s battery is a substantial part. Therefore, you should always keep it charged and together with cable ends in a dry, warm place. It can be stressful in some ways but you can pull it off once you’ve gained experience.

There are many video tutorials that you can learn from. Just think of the money that you can save. Since you are doing it by yourself, you can give your boat adequate protection. So, you can have peace of mind the whole winter.

Things to Buy for DIY Winterization of a Boat


It was mentioned that you have to prepare a list when winterizing your boat by yourself. You may fail to save some bucks if you don’t do it.

First on the list is a winterizer like the one from Camco. It’s affordable but works well. A fuel stabilizer is essential too. This product is almost everywhere, however, the great ones are from STA-BIL and Star Tron.

For the protection of valves, pistons, and more, you will have to buy fogging oil which doesn’t cost much. There are several, good choices in the market such as STAR BRITE and Quicksilver.

It’s a fact that water expands when it freezes. To counter this possibility, you need to have antifreeze so there will be no bursting of pipes or any other damages. You can get antifreeze products made by Camco and Rotella ELC.

You may also need to change the filters but it’s not required all the time. The cost for replacement is around $40 but there will be a different computation based on your boat’s condition.

There are just a few products to gather but you have to make sure you don’t miss any of them. They’re relatively affordable and you may spend around $70 to $150. The total amount will depend on the demand and needs of your boat.

Tips on How You Can Save Money When Winterizing Your Boat

  • Always complete the process of changing the oil while the engine is still warm. It’s likely to exude warmth after running. Doing so will easily wash away old oil while the new oil entirely covers the boat’s components. With this practice, you prolong the longevity of the boat’s engine in exchange for not spending a lot of money for replacement in the future.
  • When buying antifreeze concentration, you should choose the ones for RVs. It doesn’t cost much but excels in being effective. Don’t be swayed by the products that present themselves for marine use.
  • You should remove the batteries for safekeeping in a dry and warm storing area. If you fail to do this, you’ll have to replace them when spring comes.

Conquering the Coldness of Winter!

The question, ‘How much does it cost to winterize a boat?’ has been answered. As you can see, winterizing your boat costs less than repairs when the cold season is over.

You don’t only protect your boat from low temperatures but also keep it in good shape. Winterization is one of the ways that you preserve your boat.

It’s up to you whether you hire a boat mechanic or rely on a boat shop. Opting for a DIY winterizing project can save you some money.

5/5 - (3 votes)