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  1. #1

    Default Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    I have a RO driftboat that I am considering storing outside from December - February.

    I am thinking about buying a boat cover or having it shrink wrapped.

    What do I need to consider regarding outdoor storage?

    Water, Ice, cold temperature, potential damage to tires, seats, boat, etc...

    Thanks in advance,
    Mr. Fishunt

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon

    Default Re: Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    The boat should be one outside with a good cover. The drain plug should be removed and the trailer tongue propped up so that any rain water will more easily shed off the cover and anythat may get inside will drain out. I'd also be sure to clear any snow off of it asap. I keep one outside year round at my cabin, but it's an old tub that I don't worry about. My nice DB is stored in town covered indoors, which, of course, is preferable.
    Last edited by dillon; 09-06-2019 at 12:26 PM.

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  5. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Billings, Big Sky Country

    Default Re: Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    In addition to what Dillon posted . . .
    you might benefit from:

    2. Hitch Lock
    3. Tire Covers
    4. Spare Tire Cover
    5. Trailer Tongue Stand

    Here are some observations I’ve had from owning a
    drift boat for 18 years.

    RO and Clackacraft boat covers are in the $600 range.
    After hail destroyed my cover, I went a season without
    one until I could afford it, used a tarp instead.

    Never seen anybody shrink wrap a drift boat
    (sounds expensive) so you might want to investigate.
    Anybody done this ???

    I use an old cyclone fence post as a trailer stand
    but a shovel handle will work. Tongue Stand advantage
    is it attaches to the trailer and you’re taking it with you.

    Many RV’er use a piece of plywood to cover their tires.

    I’ve stored my boat outside no problem.
    The wheels are protected by shade. But I do brush and
    sweep the snow off each storm. When the ice melts it
    collects and re freezes on the sag at the edge (gun walls?)
    so I gingerly pick it off as not to poke a hole in the canvas.

    If you decide to store it inside a commercially
    you might consider taking it empty. Keep any
    detachable accessories at home
    to prevent theft, like your favorite oars.

    One last comment on boat covers, I see better gas mileage when
    towing the drift boat with the cover on. Your results may vary, I’m
    using the family’s mini-van. And the cliché in Montana is
    we have two seasons, winter and road construction. There are
    added benefits from owning a boat cover.

  6. Default Re: Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    I use one of these saw horses from Home Depot as the lift stand to keep water draining to the back of the boat where the drain plugs are

    I've stored my boat outside. It's not my preferred method, but I've done it and will end up having to do it again this winter. The above tips are spot on!

  7. #5

    Default Re: Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    Dillon and KYO both have good advice. I use an old crutch with a spiked cleat for propping mine up. Then I use a $40 heavy duty tarp and some straps I've collected over the years. The $40 HD tarps last about 3 seasons before they start ripping. I could never bring myself to pay $600 for a cover. There is another company online that makes covers for about $250 and some friends have had good experiences with them. Don't know how long they last. The best I ever had was from Montana Canvas Co. It was a $500 cover, bought from Cabela's when they had a $200 off coupon. That lasted 8 years before falling apart. The $40 HD tarp is still more cost effective in the end.
    There are no flying fish in Montana or Wyoming.

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  9. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Truckee, CA.
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Storing Drift Boat Outside in Montana Winter

    20191012_152021[1] by James Landis, on Flickr

    We get a pretty serious winters here. High winds and 2-4ft of snow is normal where I park.
    I have battled for may years to figure this storage thing out.
    Last 2 winters I used a tarp made out of a tough plastic that goes over a grow shed.
    I used a slightly bent steel conduit running bow to stern as my "peak".
    Then used clamps to grab the edge of the tarp.
    She sheds snow/water/pine needles readily.
    I can finally quit worrying about her constantly!

    Last edited by Bigfly; 10-17-2019 at 11:23 AM.
    The bar isn't set by the fish we catch, but by the one's we don't.


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