WINTERISING YOUR BOAT
Well it’s that time of year again when, if living in a seasonal country and its the cold season, its time to lay up or winterise your boat for the winter.
If you have decided to do this yourself it can be sometimes daunting, knowing if you get it wrong the costs that will be incured when it comes to re-commissioning could be extremely high.
In this article Harbourguides has compiled a list of winterising jobs that are vital.
Lets start first with the engine.
For closed circuit cooling systems check the antifreeze content and level.
Raw water cooled engines should flush the engine with a mixture of fresh water and antifreeze. If the antifreeze is coloured you will see it pumping out of the outlet.
Now while the engine is warm and the oil is thin change the oil as this will help protect it through the winter.
Fill the fuel tank to the maximum, this helps reduce condensation and the dreaded diesel bug.
If out of the water drain all water from the heads and holding tank(If fitted) and flush soap liquid through them. This will keep cleen and fresh.
If the boat is still in the water flush a mixture of antifreeze through them making sure that there is antifreeze throughout the system.
Drain the water tanks, pipes and calorifier, and add a small amount of diluted non toxic antifreeze and pump through, this can help stop any undrained parts of water from freezing and causing damage and will not poisen you when it comes time to fill them again.
Always disconnect your gas bottle(We do every time we are not on the boat)
A dehumidifier is great for keeping your boat and all your belongings and fittings dry inside the boat. We have found that getting a dessacent dehumidifier is by far the best for boats.They may be just a little bit more expensive but trust is they are worth it.
There are other things for example:
Servicing sails,removing dodgers and sprayhoods.
Removing berth and saloon cushions.
Service your life raft
Rinsing, cleaning and drying the bilge.
Take batteries home and keep warm and charged.
If you have a tender with an outboard, get it serviced so when the season starts you don’t have those problems starting it.
The list can go on and on, but the more you prepare for the winter usually gives you a great start to the warm season with more sailing and less repairs etc.
We welcome your input for tips you have picked up while winterising or laying-up your boat, so please post them on the “Comments” section below.