Putting a boat into hibernation is one of the most important tasks for owners.
Storing your boat correctly through the winter months can prevent the effects of corrosion and avoid the ill effects of moisture. The more extensively you winterize her the easier the relaunch in spring, leaving you more time to enjoy on the water.
Our advice for best practice is:
Salt needs removing so thoroughly pressure wash the bottom, topsides and decks and remove barnacles. Apply a coat of wax. Open seacocks and soak ropes in domestic detergent. Remove sails and sail covers.
Remove all equipment for cleaning and checking through winter including all soft items and gas bottles. Scrub and disinfect the interior, including drawers and fridge/ freezer after which leave ajar for air to circulate. A small bar heater or dehumidifier set on a timer or thermostat will give more protection that anything else, so make sure that you choose a lay up space with electricity.
Run the inboard engine and change oil and filter. Flush engine with fresh water, add bio-degradable antifreeze and start engine, keeping it on until antifreeze leaves the exhaust. Change transmission fluid. Flush outboard engine with fresh water, wash down with mild detergent. Change gear oil, lubricate cylinders and the engine exterior. Check stern drive, drain gear case and check all fluid levels. Fill fuel tanks to avoid condensation, change filter and water separator.
Either drain completely or fill with bio-degradable antifreeze. Flush tanks with sterilizing solution such as Milton.
Remove batteries, clean and lightly oil terminal ends. Store in cool dry place.
Clean thoroughly with detergent and hard bristled brush.
Letting the air and fresh water rain get to the anchor chain over the winter months helps give it thorough soaking.