Winter is coming: how to prepare your boat for storage during the cold season

30.10.2020

Winter is coming: how to prepare your boat for storage during the cold season

Winter is coming: how to prepare your boat for storage during the cold season

Winter is coming: how to prepare your boat for storage during the cold season

The coming of the first autumn cold weather is a signal to any owner of a yacht or boat that the craft needs to be prepared for the winter period. As a rule, the service life and subsequent launching, and even the pleasure of future trips to the sea, depends on proper preparation and storage in cold conditions.

Place and storage method

Before the start of the winter season, the yacht owner will have to determine where to store his favorite floating craft. There are a great many options, but it is worth choosing based on several factors: size, material of manufacture, climatic conditions and the degree of influence of the external environment.

Since not everyone can boast of having an equipped storage space, many are forced to leave the vessel in the open air, which leads to a strong influence of external conditions. Quite often, a small canopy is erected over the yacht or a thick fabric like a tarp is pulled over to protect it from snow and rain. The same role can be played by a dense, specially made cover with provided ventilation holes to prevent the formation of condensation.

If the ship is supposed to be parked, then it must be installed on special keel blocks, sledges or other auxiliary means so that the distance to the ground is about one and a half meters, so that repair and maintenance work can be carried out if necessary.

Conservation

After choosing a storage location, it is worthwhile to preserve the vessel. In this process, it is important to take into account the cladding material (wood, metal, fiberglass and others), as well as the storage features of individual yacht systems.

Before conservation, you should take care of fragile and sensitive machinery and equipment. For example, navigation devices are quite sensitive to temperature extremes, so they should be removed to heat in advance.

The engine, regardless of type, must also be preserved. The oil from the lubrication system is usually drained, at the same time replacing the fuel and oil filters. All parts are covered with anti-corrosion agents that protect against rust and negative external conditions. During storage, the engine must not be left off for a long time, so from time to time it will have to be started and cranked at idle.

All boat systems must be drained, descaled and filled with antifreeze in order to maximally protect the pipelines from icing. The electrical system must also be inspected, and some of its components, such as batteries and navigation equipment, dismantled.

Stationary fuel tanks are recommended to be filled with fuel with the addition of a stabilizer, and portable ones – to be removed, dried and stored in a well-ventilated area, as well as hoses from the fuel system, previously removed and washed.

Case processing

Each hull material has its own processing order before conservation, but they all start with cleaning and thoroughly removing contaminants.

Fiberglass hull is one of the most popular, but also quite delicate. This is especially true for its coating, so it should not be washed with hard brushes and abrasive cleaning agents. If defects begin to appear on the coating, for example, pimples or swollen parts, it is better to fill them with a special resin, and then, if possible, cover them with a special epoxy-based paint. It is also desirable to treat the metal case with a special paint to prevent corrosion. Of course, these are just the main steps that need to be taken before the start of the winter season. For the rest, it is worth proceeding from the climatic conditions and contacting specialized companies that provide such a service.

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