Taking protective measures before you store your boat for the winter will ensure that it's ready to be back on the water when you are. It's not just winter that can impact your boats performance but inactivity itself tends to lead to wear and tear. Without the proper checks corrosion can spread, moisture can get in places it shouldn't and oil can clump and cause issues in the new season.
The best place for your boat to be during the winter is out of the water, under suitable cover and in a warm, climate-controlled storage specifically for boats and yachts. We all know that costs can be a defining factor however so if you don't have this option, our user guide could help you do some of the work yourself.
Many of the checklist items below are also general maintenance however there are some that are critical to preventing damage during the winter months whether berthed or in dry storage.
Sounds obvious but a clean boat will endure the winter months much better and reduces preparation time to get the boat back on the water.
This is one area that should be cleaned fairly regularly however for winterising there are a couple of additional things you can do. While pumping out, at your local approved facility, add fresh water and flush through several times to help clean the system. Check your owners manual to ensure that the antifreeze won't damage the system before applying the next step. Once a suitably clean state has been achieved you can add antifreeze to the system and pump through hoses, holding tanks, valves and macerators.
A professional service is clearly the best treatment however this is not always possible before winterising your boat. Although engines can appear complicated, there are some must do actions that will help increase the lifespan and efficient running come Spring.
Fuel can be left in the tank however a little preparation should be taken if it is to sit there for months on end. Fill the tank to within 1inch full, allowing for expansion on warm days, and add in a suitable fuel stabilising agent. As fuel can break down, it's important to run the engine to draw the stabilising agent through the engine with the fuel for 10 to 15 minutes ensuring good coverage. To further alleviate condensation, add some Vasaline around the fuel cap to prevent unwanted moisture getting in and out.
It may also be worth considering the replacement of pre-fuel filters as any issues at this stage can be resolved during the winter months ensuring that your boat is in first class condition come spring or summer.
The cost of replacing a boats battery can be steep, save yourself some cash and disconnect the battery at the end of the winterising process. Further to this, giving them a charge from the mains (land power) and topping up with distilled water could help the lifespan. Please consult your batteries manufacturer before making any changes outside of disconnecting the battery.
Although the above check points are great to do before your boat goes into storage, there is no greater thing that to check regularly. Visiting your boat during the winter months can raise awareness for potential problems early and ensure plain sailing when the time comes to launch your boat in the spring / summer months.
Also pay close attention to the manufacturers manual, each make and model is different and the best care will often be available to view, if in doubt a call to the manufacturer, Ancasta after-sales maintenance team or a specialist can alleviate any concerns and delivery the best results.
For support, more information or for professional winterisation, lifting and storage facilities, why not contact our sister companies: