Each year, there comes a time where you must winterize your yacht. Preparing your boat for the cold weather is necessary for maintenance and prolonging its life, so it really is a crucial part of ownership if you want to enjoy your yacht adventures for a long time. It’s a day at the end of summer that everyone dreads, but the outcome of not doing it is far worse! Avoid nasty smells, high-cost repairs, and the spread of mould by following these crucial steps for preparing your yacht for the cold season.
Tips to Prepare Your Yacht for the Winter
Clear Everything Out
First, you want to clear everything out from the exterior, such as cushions, buoys, and life jackets. A full clear out is to make sure there is no dampness that will only grow worse over time by growing mould. Clean them all, make sure they’re air dry, and store them inside to stay safe during the wintertime.
Remember to remove all your valuables from your yacht, too, for safekeeping.
Ropes and Rigging
Damp can damage your ropes and rigging, too, so it’s essential to look after them when they’re not in use. Remove all masthead instruments, and check all fittings for damage as well as checking the halyard sheaves and the wire rigging. When checking for damage, what you’re really looking out for is damp and corrosion. If you can, it’s best to let the ropes dry and put them away for winter to prevent them from turning green. Whether you have a state-of-the-art yacht like Oyster Yachts or you’ve owned your yacht for almost a lifetime, she needs attention in each section. If the ropes and rigging are a little too high for you to check, consider getting a professional to take a look for you.
Engine and Batteries
To protect your batteries’ power, use a battery maintainer while they’re not in use, and take them all out if you can. It’ll mean in spring you’re ready to fire up instantly. The engine is a particularly crucial area to check, as a replacement would be extremely costly. Water damage and freezing could mean a replacement, so if you spot anything amiss, it’s recommended that you get a professional to see it as soon as possible. You don’t want a hefty bill in the spring!
Deep Clean Inside
Clean everywhere. This means emptying the fridge, clearing non-perishables, cleaning the toilet, and wiping down all surfaces. If you have any damp build-up, use antimould for mildew. If you’re worried about damp and temperature inside, there’s also the option of investing in a dehumidifier.
You should fully drain all the water by emptying all tanks out to prevent freezing and damage, and that includes pulling drain plugs out. It’s also handy to pour an anti-freeze down the toilets and sinks to prevent freezing.
You can use a jet wash to rid the exterior of any salt and dirt, but be careful of sensitive areas. The last thing you want is to do any damage!
While it’s not a fun job, winterising your yacht for the winter will ensure she’s ready to go and in great shape come the long-awaited springtime.