It’s that time of year again when you may be thinking about laying your boat up out of season. Use these handy tips for Winterising your boat and you'll be thanking yourself come Spring! Remember to keep track of all the activities that you have performed on your boat so that you have a note of what to reverse when you take your boat out of hibernation.
Let us know – Laying your boat up for a period of in excess of 6 months could entitle you to a discount on your insurance premium. Your boat will remain covered for loss due to theft and fire, there will just be no ‘on the water’ cover for the nominated period.
Give your engine a little TLC – Prevent corrosion by making sure you have fully dried the bilges. Conduct thorough cleaning and observation of your engine to locate areas that need attention. Use a camera or mirror on a stick to help you see behind those tough to reach areas. If you are laying up for a long period it may be worthwhile getting a mechanic to fully prepare your boat.
Batteries out – if you can, remove batteries and keep them in a place that is warm and dry over the winter period, remembering to top up their charge every 4-6 weeks so as to not have to replace them if they run down. If you are unable to remove batteries, make sure they are charged fully and top them up regularly – A full battery is less likely to freeze.
Fill your tank - Making sure your tank is full will help prevent condensation, which in turn will help to prevent the growth of diesel bug. Change the oil and filter and if required fill the cooling system with appropriate antifreeze.
Check your cover – if you've found that when de-winterising your boat you've got dry rot, mould or excessive corrosion, it could be because of your cover. Make sure that your cover allows air to circulate fully, whilst keeping your boat dry, to prevent condensation.
Have a good clean out – Make sure you remove all food items that could be damaged by the cold or humidity, or may attract vermin, remember to keep the fridge and all cupboard doors open to stop any mould growing. Take out clothing, blankets, etc. and store on shore, washed and dried ready for next season.