As winter weather settles in around the marina where your boat is stored, it's time to start thinking about preparing your storage area. One of the things that you should never dismiss is the care of the vinyl canopy on your boat lift. That canopy helps to protect your boat through the warmer season, so you'll want to keep it in good condition. This typically means cleaning it and preparing it for winter season storage. Here are some tips to help you get your canopy ready for winter.
Cleaning the Canopy
Remove your boat lift canopy from the lift. The process for doing this will vary based on the lift frame, so make sure that you remove it correctly. Lay the canopy flat on dry grass or another level, dry, clean surface. Clean the entire canopy with a vinyl cleaner and a rag. As an alternative, you could also clean the canopy with a solution of mild detergent and a soft brush. Once clean, you should rinse the surface completely and leave it out to dry completely.
Once dry, you should treat the vinyl with a protectant. The vinyl protectant will seal the canopy and add enough moisture to keep it from drying and cracking while it's in storage. Apply the protectant with a paper towel or a lint-free cloth.
Storing the Canopy
Fold the canopy over onto itself several times. Stop when you are left with a strip that's a couple of feet wide. That makes it a fairly manageable size to roll it up. Start at one end and roll the whole thing up to create a complete round. If your canopy came with a storage bag, it's best to put it in there for the winter. If not, put the roll into a storage bag that's breathable.
You want the canopy to be able to breathe to prevent mold or mildew accumulation from moisture. This is important, because moisture could cause deterioration of the seams along the canopy, which may lead to dry rot or other damage. Store any hardware for your canopy separately so that you don't risk any damage to the vinyl from the hardware. Seal the hardware in a plastic storage bag, then tape the bag to the outside of the canopy storage bag so that you don't lose it.
With these tips and the help of your boat lift canopy technician, you can keep your vinyl canopy in good condition and protect it throughout the winter season.