With the arrival of colder days and less frequent visits to our floating babies, most boat owners are wondering how to get the boat ready for the winter as safely and efficiently as possible.
Many owners think that their boat is ready for winter if it is clean, tidy, and well locked, which is not entirely true.
Here is what you need to do to ensure that your boat is safe and ready for the next sailing season.
Before leaving the boat for winter, several actions are necessary to ensure a safe and comfortable winter for your vessel.
One of the major problems during the winter is humidity. To prevent the accumulation of moisture and mold in the boat, it is necessary to inspect the entire boat, determine if water is collecting somewhere in the boat or if there is any seawater residue, then remove it all and dry nicely. It is also necessary to drain the entire fresh water system so that the water in the system does not freeze with the arrival of lower temperatures. This could lead to cracking of certain parts of the fresh water system which is detected only once the system is restarted and which will take time to repair when the weather becomes warmer, preventing you from enjoying your boat at once.
It is necessary to call authorized service technicians who will take care of electricity and electronics on your boat. This includes checking and protecting all external and internal connectors, checking the electrical and electronic system after the summer season in which the entire system was exposed to solar radiation, high temperatures, and salt, checking batteries, and everything else related to electricity. This part is very important because any of the above external influences can lead to device malfunction, short circuits, and damage – in worst case scenario, fire on board. Especially when restarting all systems, so you need to act wisely and do all the pre-work in this area.
One of the equally important pre-winter inspections is the engine inspection. Good service in the post-season includes inspecting and determining the condition of your engines, suggesting works that should be done before the next season, inspecting the cooling system, and measuring the level of antifreeze to prevent icing of the coolant. In addition, it includes the preparation of your fuel tanks for the winter to prevent the growth of fungi inside the tank that can lead to further complications. You will also have to decide whether to start the engine(s) periodically during the winter or to preserve them. It is important to know your options during the winter because these are the only two available (to preserve the engine and not start it until next season or to periodically start the engines yourself or have a person you trust do it for you).
Last but not least, ensure a safe berth for your boat, as well as regular inspection and ventilation during the winter! A safe berth does not only mean a boat tied with five, six, seven, eight ropes and two, three, or four moorings. It is important to have service available at all times, a person who will be able to check the boat after a major storm, advise on how to safely moor the boat, but also to be able to set sail quickly in an unexpected event (e.g. a fire on a neighboring ship or line breakage, etc.). In case this is too much stress for you and you do not want to check-in after every storm to see if your floating baby is still floating, you can always have it taken to a dry dock. Of course, each decision has its advantages and disadvantages, so when you leave the boat in a dry dock, there are several downsides. Let's mention the most obvious one. When the boat is in the sea, each part of its underwater section is equally affected by the buoyancy force, whereas when the boat is in dry dock the whole weight of the ship rests on several points on which the boat leans. Nothing too harmful for a boat, but some boat owners do not like it, and of course, you need to have all the information before making a decision.
It is not easy for a boat owner to do all this alone, but that is where we come in. Contact us and we will do it all for you so that you can spend the winter knowing that your boat is safe and enjoy the next season as much as possible without unpleasant surprises due to poor planning of preparation and maintenance of your boat.
Custom consulting team