WINTERISING YOUR BOAT
Checklist for laying up your boat
1. If your boat is hauled out and propped up check the following before going aboard your boat, the security of the props, shores and wedges or the security of the props if she is stored in a cradle and check that it is safe against the likely wind directions and vandals?
2. Check that your insurance covers you for the laid up period, keep the insurance company informed and make sure your insurance does not lapse while she is laid up ashore.
3. Ensure you have adequate ventilation while leaving the boat and that it is secure from forced entry or storm conditions.
If you have to leave the boat shut up then you should consider putting on some low background heating in the form of greenhouse style bar heaters or oil filled radiators and a dehumidifier, the dehumidifier should be placed onto the top of the galley work surface and with the drain going into the galley sink.
4. Check that all the clevis pins and their split pins are in place in the ends of the guardwires
5. Remove the cushions, curtains, loose carpets and clothing for cleaning and storage ashore
6. Remove any fresh food from the boat and leave the cool box lid or refrigerator doors propped open
7. Open all the doors, locker doors, bunk access panels and cabin sole access panels and prop open to make sure there is free movement of the air
8. Anything that is likely to rust should be removed from the boat i.e. cans of food, pots, pans and cutlery together with any crockery for a good clean and storage ashore
9. Drain down the water system including the hot water tank by opening all the taps and running the tanks dry and drain the residual water in the pipework into the bilge, then pump out and if possible dry the bilges. Leave all the taps open
10. On salt water flushing toilets make sure the toilet installation has been flushed through with fresh water, the toilet/s should be completely drained down and the drain plug/s on the toilet base/s has/have been removed.
11. If your boat is fitted with a holding tank, then you should get this emptied before you lift the boat out of the water and flush it clean with fresh or salt water and again empty the tank.
12. Close off all the underwater valves except for the cockpit drains, deck drains and if you have installed a dehumidifier the galley sink drain. Ensure the cockpit drains; deck drains and the gas locker drain are clear of debris.
13. Ensure the gas system has been turned off and any gas left in the system has been burnt off
14. Disconnect the batteries and pull the connectors clear of the terminals and keep the batteries charged up
15. Lower and remove the sails while the boat is still in the water and take these together with the sail covers and sprayhood to a reputable sail maker for cleaning and valeting and ask them to carry out any repairs or modifications that you may require (this is quite often cheaper during the winter) and store these ashore.
16. Remove the running rigging and reefing lines leaving mouse lines in their place. Take the halyards etc. home for cleaning and check for any signs of excessive wear, damage or rusting on any wire to rope splices and replace as found to be required
17. The batteries should be removed from any items of equipment that contain them i.e. Horseshoe lifebuoy lights, torches, radios etc.
18. Spray any exposed wiring terminals with a moisture displacing oil, WD40 or similar
19. Winterise your engine/s:
Making sure the fresh water coolant has the correct level of antifreeze for the expected conditions and that the salt water side of the cooling system is completely drained down.
Drain off the oil from the engine/s, replace the oil filter and refill with new oil
PLEASE NOTE: Both of the above will need to be carried out whilst the boat is still afloat
Disconnect the exhaust hose/s from the engine/s and tape over the exhaust outlet/s
Remove the air filter/s and tape up the air inlet/s on the engine/s
Remove the salt water pump impellor/s, tie this/these to the engine/s and leave off the cover plate/s
Make sure the fuel tank/s are full, to prevent possible condensation
Check the water seperators/s for water if fitted with a clear bowl and drain off as found to be required or if not fitted with a clear bowl then drain off a sample from the water seperator/s for inspection.
Cover the engine/s with oil impregnated paper
20. If possible you should consider washing off the deck and installing a cover over the deck, the cover should be supported clear of the deck and woodwork, this should be securely attached.
A. WHERE THE ABOVE DIFFERS FROM THE MANUFACTURERS RECOMMENDATIONS THEN THE ADVICE GIVEN BY THE MANUFACTURER SHOULD BE FOLLOWED.
B. PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS TO BE A DEFINITIVE LIST, THE ABOVE CHECKLIST IS INTENDED AS A GUIDE ONLY AND THERE WILL BE SOME ITEMS THAT I HAVE NEGLECTED TO MENTION THAT ARE ALSO IMPORTANT AND MORE SO ON LARGER VESSELS SUCH AS GENERATORS, WATER MAKERS, ICE MAKERS etc