Winterising Your Yacht

After the first ‘cold-snap‘ of this winter we thought it would be a good time to write about some of the key points when winterising a boat.

Most boats on summer moorings and marina berths have now been lifted out of the water and blocked off ashore. But don’t just leave it there, the more work you put into your boat now the less you’ll have to do in the Spring. On top of that, it is worth making all the necessary precautions and preparing the boat in case of any winter gales!

The list below is purely our opinion on some of the precautions you should take and is by no means all that can be done…

  • Winterise the engine. Fill up the diesel tank, run antifreeze through the cooling system, change the oil and take the strain off belts. This is best carried out by a marine engineer.

  • Check your batteries, grease the terminals and keep them on trickle charge. In some circumstances it can be worth removing them altogether.

  • Empty water tanks, frozen water can do all kinds of damage! Make sure the water pump is also empty and de-pressurised.

  • Empty and clean the toilet(s). It is worth running them through with fresh water and even some non-toxic antifreeze.

  • Remove bedding and prop up the bunk cushions, allow all the soft furnishings to ‘breath’, if possible remove the curtains as well.

  • Run a “marine approved” dehumidifier, better than a heater in many ways and keeps the cabin dry. They work best if you can get the water draining straight down a plug hole.

  • Leave draws, doors and cupboards open, this helps with air circulation and will therefore reduce condensation.

  • Remove loose deck gear, safety gear like life-buoys, jack-stays and even the life-raft are best stowed down below.

  • Reduce windage, remove sails, dodgers, covers, halyards and so on. Not only is windage dramatically reduced but all these items have a nasty habit of going green so store them somewhere dry.

  • Remove the anchor, it’s good to take the weight out of the boat and it’s worth checking the chain links and fixings. It also helps prevent rust taking hold.

  • Check the cradle and how the boat has been blocked off, use ratchet straps to make the cradle more secure and remember boats can move a bit so tighten the props up from time to time. It’s worth asking the yard staff for advice on this one.

  • Give the boat a good clean, wash off the salt, sand and summer grime…especially on moving parts like winches, turning-blocks, tracks and travellers.

Thank you for reading our post, the list above is purely a guide line and please contact us if you feel we have missed anything important. We hope you’ve had a fantastic sailing season and made memories to last a lifetime.

Parkstone Bay Yachts are an independent yacht brokerage based in Poole, Dorset, and are the sole UK agents for Contest Yachts, RM Yachts, Nordship Yachts and Wauquiez Yachts.