During off-season storage time, there are several things to consider when your boat is not only about to head in for storage, but even what can/should be done while your boat is tucked away. We’ve answered the FAQs we receive from both new and existing customers about storage process, services required, as well as how to access your vessel while in storage.

The Basics:

Batteries: battery

We do not switch off or disconnect your batteries unless you order “Battery Service.” Batteries left connected (even with the battery switches turned off) will slowly discharge over the winter. If you forget to turn battery switches and lights off, they will be dead by Christmas! The average lifespan of a marine battery is 3 years.

Did you empty out your fridge?

This is a big one that most people overlook. Take a look before you bring your boat in – you don’t want to find old stinky cheese in the Spring.

How much fuel is in your tanks?

Did you add Sta-Bil fuel stabilizer? It is best to add fuel stabilizer and fill your fuel tanks just before you bring the boat in for haul-out. Storing with full tanks reduces condensation inside your tanks.

When did you last change the oil in your engine?

Oil and fuel filters should be changed every year, regardless of hours used. The best time is just before you make the trip to CYW, so fresh oil can circulate through the engines.

Arriving at CYW:

When you arrive to drop off your boat, please remember to raise your outdrives (if your boat has them) before shutting off the batteries. This saves time and protects your skegs during storage.
**Reminder: CYW is not responsible for any damaged caused prior to lifting your boat out of the water. Until it is in our crane slings, it is your responsibility. Tie up carefully and use as many fenders as you have.

When do I have to pay my Winter Storage balance?

To avoid finance charges, you need to be paid in full before November 14, 2021. Contact Christine for more information: Christine@ChicagoYachtWorks.com.

What restrictions are in place during COVID-19?

Everyone must still adhere to social distancing, wearing a mask, etc. We take this very seriously, so please make sure you continue wearing a mask when you enter our facility. NO EXCEPTIONS. Anyone caught not following the rules will be asked to leave. We ask for everyone’s cooperation, so we don’t have to go back to mandating appointments to come and work on your boat.


Have you submitted your Service Form? 

We highly recommend getting your service requests in early. Do not wait until after the New Year. You can find all forms in one place on our website.

Did you experience any problems with your boat this season? 

Be sure to let us know well before you bring the boat to us. Specifically, engine issues are best diagnosed when the boat is still in the water.

Is your vessel still covered under warranty? 

We’re thinking engines here, especially Mercury and Volvo. If so, have us perform the annual maintenance to prevent voiding the warranty.

Can I make an appointment with one of your Service Team members to go over my boat’s service needs? I’m not sure what I need or what you recommend. 

Yes, please do this sooner than later. We want you to be aware of everything that is needed and answer any questions you might have for us.

Is it too early to put in a request for a Detail?

I want my boat clean and ready when I pick up in the Spring/Summer. It is never too early to request any kind of service or detailing. Reach out to us now at Service@ChicagoYachtWorks.com or fill out the Service Request Form here.

What about cosmetic enhancements? Can I have that done during the off-season?

Yep! We can help you upgrade your vessel’s upholstery, canvas, paint and/or make any fiberglass repairs needed.

I currently don’t have my boat name on my boat, can you help me with that? 

Yes! Just reach out to our service team for more information and pricing.

How often should I have my boat Bottom Painted? 

We recommend having this done every two years to maintain your boat performance. You can find more information on bottom paint right here.

Boat Access:

Where’s my boat? 

You must know where your boat is stored prior to coming to the yard. You would have received an email from Nancy Bereckis regarding your boat location, but please reach out to her (Nancy@ChicagoYachtWorks.com) in case it’s missed.
If you are doing cold storage, your boat is in Building 5, as that is the only Cold Storage building space we have.

When can I access my boat? 

You may access your boat whenever the Yard is open. Just be aware that we do not allow sub-contractors in the yard without our approval. We update our hours seasonally and have a special schedule during the winter holiday. We will inform everyone when the hours change and will be posting our November and December calendars on our website.

If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at any time: 312-666-6670 ext. 602 or Service@ChicagoYachtWorks.com.
You can also text the service team at 312-728-7401.

Don’t forget! Follow us on Facebook for local updates. Or if you’d also like a monthly update on everything local along with company updates, join our monthly newsletter.


We apologize if you have tried to call us and not connected.  

We are experiencing some difficulties with our phone system and are in the process of correcting it.

If you need to call us, here are the relevant extensions so you can bypass the system:

(312) 666-6670

Office (scheduling, storage quotes, info, etc)              x101

Service (all things service related)                    x103,105,107

Service Department TEXT                                 312-728-7401

Sales (new and pre-owned boat sales)                        x104

Accounting (all things financial)                                 x110