You had a great season run with your boat, didnt you? But now its time to put her in dry dock for the upcoming winter. As diligent as you are about winterizing your car, you should be equally diligent about your boat. You dont want any surprises when it comes time to put her back in the water, right?
Popular Mechanics recommends conducting a hull inspection. Do you see any stress cracks or gelcoat blisters? If you see stress cracks, see a professional because you might have some structural damage. If you have blisters, just puncture, drain, dry, and patch them with an epoxy-based filler specific to this type of repair. If your boat is aluminum, bang the drum slowly with a rubber mallet to get rid of dents.
You got little pesky sea creatures like barnacles, mussels, or algae on the hull? Scrape those suckers off, and then sand off the residue. A good power wash should follow to get rid of sea scum and dirt. You can make your job easier next time by finding a good acrylic wax product that can provide a shield against the dirt and scum.
When covering the boat, the cover should reach the waterline. A polyvinyl or polytarp will do nicely, but make sure to use a frame that will allow equal distribution of the weight of the snow. You can make a frame yourself with PVC pipe.
Is that it? Not by far, my friend. Advice on the interior will be covered in another article.