It’s time to haul out the boats.

Boating season on Lake Erie runs April through October, which means marinas right now are working every daylight hour to hoist boats out of the water, winterize their engines, clean them up, shrink-wrap them tight and store them for winter.

That way in the spring, they’re ready to drop in the water and go.

Hearns Marine Services will store about 95 boats at its site at Cleveland Metroparks’ Emerald Necklace Marina in the Rocky River Reservation. It will winterize dozens of others at marinas around Cleveland.

For the 28,000 boats registered in Cuyahoga County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there are only about five companies that winterize boats, says Hearns Marine owner Danny Hearns.

“We’re working seven days a week, and we don’t get a break,” he said.

The process for one boat, start to finish, takes about an hour with a full crew of four. It costs about $1,000, including winter storage.

“You know what boat stands for?” Hearns jokes. “Break out another thousand.”

Hearns grew up working at a marina, starting at age 11 when he picked up cigarette butts from under tables. By 15, he was driving a forklift. He went to school at the International Marine Institute in Fort Lauderdale and started his own company.

Hearns Marine has been in existence for six years. It’s worked out of the Emerald Necklace Marina for three. And Hearns is all of 27 years old.

“There’s no book for this stuff,” he said. “You have to do it to learn it.”

Here’s what you have to do to get your boat ready for winter.

Haul it out: You can use a boat ramp and a trailer to get your boat out of the water. But about 90 percent of the 70 boats in the Emerald Necklace Marina get taken out by a forklift, Hearns said.

Clean it up: Boats with anti-fouling paint on the bottom get power-washed to remove algae, scum and quagga mussels. Boats without paint get acid washed, a process that requires goggles and gloves. “It stings,” Hearns said.

Winterize the engine: You want to make sure a boat’s engine block does not freeze in the winter. So you drain the engine, which pulls in water to cool itself, and run antifreeze through it.

You can’t use car antifreeze, since everything must be biodegradable. This synthetic liquid, which Hearns buys in 55-gallon drums, is propylene glycol, a common food additive.

Hearns uses a refractometer to test the liquid flowing through the engine. When it can withstand negative-50 degrees, they’re good to go.

They also put fuel stabilizer in the gas tank and take the batteries out of the boat, to put on a trickle charge for the winter months.

Shrink wrap it: “It’s like gift wrapping, only with, like, turning on a gas grill with an open flame,’ Hearns said.

Before you can wrap a boat, though, you have to band it. This consists of stretching a nylon ribbon from the bow to stern of a boat, then port to starboard. A wooden post holds up the webbing, which looks like a monochromatic Maypole. The idea is to provide a taut structure the shrink wrap can stick to. Then the crew tucks a Damprid moisture absorber inside the boat, to soak up any humidity.

Hearns buys rolls of shrink wrap, from 17 feet to 50 feet, depending on the width of the boat. He cuts the right length, then tuck the edges and flatten the pleats with waterproof shrinkwrap tape. The crew ties nylon bands around the bottom of the boat, then shrink all the plastic with a heat gun, a giant wand attached to a propane tank. It takes about 3 minutes to shrink a 22-foot boat. All the wrinkles disappear.

“It’s so hard to shrink wrap when it’s windy. This thing blows up like a balloon.”

When the process is complete, the boat looks a bit like a circus tent. Hearns cuts slits on on the port and starboard (left and right) sides, so air can circulate, and covers them with a flap of plastic to keep out the snow.

Put it on a block: When the boat is ready, the forklift transports it either to a storage rack, where boats stack like shoes in a closet, or in a fenced-off boat yard. There, a boat’s keel sits on a concrete block, while metal jacks keep its balance.

Hearns’ crew finished 12 boats on Saturday.

“There’s no off-season,” he said. “We might have a break at Christmas. Then the boat show. Then we repaint and get ready for spring.”