Yacht Maintenance in Winter
Use our guide to make sure your boat is ready for winter
We deal with large yachts and superyachts here at Marine Signs, but for the small boat owners and hobbyists, here's a quick guide for you on what to do to prepare your boat for Winter.
Autumn turns to Winter and it's almost that time of year when your yacht needs to be tucked away for Winter. This job isn't a yacht owners most favourite part of pleasure boating, but it has to be done to ensure that your Yacht is safe and sound ready for next year.
How you go about your Yacht maintenance will largely depend upon how close you live to your boat. Most owners in a close proximity to their yacht will probably start to wind things down in stages, doing one maintenance job at a time over a period of weeks, whereas those that live further afield will try to do as many jobs as they can in one visit to their Yacht.
An alternative would be to pay someone to go through all of the Yacht maintenance checks and jobs that need doing, but this can obviously have a negative impact on your wallet and it's actually quite a nice feeling to be able to do the jobs on your pride and joy yourself. She's given you some great days and pleasure on the water so now it's time to return the favour and look after her.
The best approach to the jobs you need to do is to keep good records of what you have done and what you need to do. It's never too late to start to do this and our recommendation is that you keep up to date logs so you'll know next year all the jobs you did this year.
So what maintenance jobs need to be done on your Yacht?
Here is a list of our recommended tasks :
Anything that carries water around your Yacht may be liable to freeze up during Winter, so you need to consider this and drain your whole system of water. This is where your manual for your Yacht comes in handy.
Check all your sea cocks, pipe connections and strainers.
These tanks need to be completely drained.
Ensure any tank used for toilet waste is pumped as dry as possible. Unless you can remove the tank easily, get a professional boatyard to carry this out for you. Always deodorise the tank
These can some time become damp, so things like cushions and soft seats can be removed and stored off the yacht during the Winter months.
Food, Utensils and Equipment
It's always a good idea to remove your knives, forks and kitchen utensils, all foodstuff and anything that contains batteries are also good things to remove from your Yacht. The last thing you want to find when you go for your first sail of the season is a mouldy cheese sandwich or a leaked battery all over the place.
Time to clean
Everything will need a wipe down. Sea salt is obviously corrosive and if left alone it will start to eat into your surfaces, fixtures and fittings.
There are quite a few good yacht cleaning products out there that will help you do this.
Engines, Fuel Tanks and Batteries
It's a good idea to flush your systems out with fresh water, drain the engines cooling system and engine oil and filters need to be changed before you lay the boat up.
Batteries need to be removed from the boat to avoid damage by freezing.
There is an endless list of maintenance jobs for your Yacht before Winter, hopefully the above list will help you get organised and to get started.
This article about winter maintenance is quite useful and humorous, so you may like to read that as well or do your own research into what's required.
The main thing is to be systematic and to keep records of what's been done.
Finally, remember that a bit of ventilation is always a good idea, having a bit of airflow around the boats stops things getting musty and mouldy.