After a summer on the water and a mild autumn, saying goodbye to your beloved boat for the winter can be tough. But, ensuring your boat is safe and prepared for colder temperatures and harsher weather is a sure-fire way to make it easier.
Here are six top tips to help you winterise your boat this season.
1. Remove soft furnishings and valuables from the inside
Start by removing all soft furnishings, like cushions, blankets, and even carpets where possible, from inside the boat. Store them somewhere warm and dry to avoid them incurring any damp and mould. Do what you can to increase and monitor ventilation, too — whether that be through moisture traps, a dehumidifier, or a humidistat.
Similarly, ensure any expensive or sentimental items are removed from the vessel and stored somewhere safe.
2. Protect the engine
When out of the water, your engine is vulnerable to the elements and costly to repair.
Before storing your boat for the winter, be sure to check the manufacturer’s guide. This will tell you how best to service the engine, change the oil and the filters, flush the engine with antifreeze to prevent freezing and corrosion, and drain water from the system where necessary.
Every boat is different, so even if you’re an experienced boater, always refer to the manufacturer’s guide.
3. Check your charge
When it comes to your batteries, they should be fully charged before you store your boat. Ideally, you’ll want to keep them charging through a float voltage, but if that’s not possible, you’ll need to check the charge and electrolyte level on a monthly basis.
4. Disconnect, dry, and drain!
Don’t forget to prepare your boat’s plumbing system for the winter, too.
Freezing temperatures can lead to pipes splitting, which can lead to flooding, so the removal of all water is vital.
This will mean disconnecting water pumps, emptying water tanks, draining the shower, keeping seacocks open, emptying the calorifier and more. Always refer to your manufacturer’s guide to ensure you’ve covered all bases.
5. Prepare your boat’s exterior for freezing temperatures
Harsh weather can have a devastating effect on the exterior of your boat.
From investing in a high-quality cover to using wind socks to improve ventilation, there are a number of ways to protect your vessel from harsh wind, rain, and even ice.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your boat being out of the water by cleaning hard-to-reach areas, such as below the waterline.
6. Pay your boat a visit this winter — and take it out if you can
Neglecting your boat or leaving it inactive for half of the year will undoubtedly take its toll on the vessel. If you can, taking it out over the winter is always recommended.
If you can’t, be sure to visit regularly and check the boat is safe, dry and in good shape, ready to get back out on the water by spring.
Promarine Finance is a leading provider of marine finance. To find out if you’re eligible, get a quote today.