Yacht maintenance during winter

    20.01.2021

    Boat storage during winter is vital for your yacht if you want to be sure you will enjoy it when the warmer weather comes. Simply, this kind of boat maintenance is crucial to prevent any deterioration of any part of your beauty. That's why you need to be thorough and approach the issue seriously. Only then you will be able to count on the best possible result. If you're not sure if you've done everything, allow us to help you with your boat winterization with this short list of things that need to be done. Let's go!

    The underwater hull

     

    The underwater hull of your boat is the foundation of your yacht, so it makes sense to make it a priority when inspecting for damage or signs of deterioration.
    If you're removing old paint, the aforementioned thorough approach is of utmost importance. Use proper safety equipment for the job and do everything by the book – just washing the hull and slapping it with a new coat of antifouling may not be enough.
    Should there be blisters on your hull, check if they are filled with a smelly liquid. If so, this means osmosis is taking place, and you'd do well to consult an expert.
    Also, make sure you check your keel and your rudder for any signs of rust, remove barnacles from the propeller and renew sacrificial anodes as soon as possible.

    Sails and rigging

    When it comes to your rigs, it pays to be extra careful. Inspect them for rust and check to see if the wires are curved and if they are twisted off. Any of these signs means you should replace your rigging immediately if you want to avoid losing your mast on your next trip.
    As for the sails, a prudent move is to take them to a sailmaker once your season is over. The sailmaker will then make all the necessary repairs, which will cost you much less than if you're repairing a sail that's been damaged severely. All of this can be done before the next sailing season starts.

    Woodwork

    The wooden parts of your yacht should be sanded and treated with varnish once a year, which makes this a perfect activity to do when winterizing a boat. Just make sure there is absolutely no dirt after you're done with the sanding (you can use paint thinner to clean everything). If you're sanding down to the raw wood, between seven or ten coat or varnish should be enough.
    Should you decide to apply paint, start with coats of diluted paint first, and gradually work your way to pure paint.
    Avoid high-pressure cleaners if you have teak decks! They will damage it quite badly.

    Winches and deck

    Winches are fairly demanding to maintain, compared to other parts of your boat because you should take them apart and inspect them several times a year. Always clean their insides before lubricating them.
    You can actually HEAR whether or not your winch requires maintenance – if the ringing you hear when using it is gone, it's time to act.
    As far as the deck is concerned, the guardrail should be high on your list of priorities. Make sure that it's firm to avoid any safety issues. Also, check the anchor locker for rot and corrosion because these two can often quickly spread from this place to the rest of the boat.

    Boat electronics

    When it comes to your boat's electronics, you will want to start your inspection with the batteries. Make sure they are charged during winter and that they are kept out of the cold.
    Many problems with each part of boat electronics stem from the fact that electrical contacts and connections are not functioning correctly. If you encounter an issue like this, you can try cleaning the contacts with sandpaper, but you need to check the wires, too. If they are black, you will need to replace them altogether.
    A voltage tester can be convenient when doing this, so make sure you have one close by.

    Boat engines

    Before beginning a new sailing season, make sure you've removed the antifreeze and added new oil to the engine. Allowing any of these two to stay in the machine too long can cause you problems.
    Filters should also be an important part of your boat maintenance, especially if we're talking about diesel filters which should be inspected for cracks through which air can come in. This is really bad for the engine as it can cause it to fail completely.
    V-belts also may need tightening and will want to check that you have spares aboard. Also, if you have a gasoline yacht engine, remember to go over the spark plugs. Clean and replace them if need be.

    Winter boat storage

    Essentially, you have two main options when it comes to winter boat storage – dry storage and wet storage. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, so the decision is up to you.
    Just remember that you don't want to leave your boat in the sea if it can freeze.
    Wet storage means that you're exposing your boat to saltwater which may cause the hull and the paint to degrade more. On the other hand, the boat will not be exposed to sudden bursts of cold that can cause significant damage.
    Should you need help with winterizing a boat, Euronautic yacht management services can take care of everything for you.

    Boat transfers

    But you can take an altogether different approach to keep your boat safe during winter. You can simply have them transported to a more favourable, warmer location where you will be able to continue using them or where they will simply be exposed less to the elements.
    Euronautic transfers cover the whole Mediterranean, so feel free to give us a call if you need to have your boat transported.

    Summary

    So, as you can see, keeping your boat in good condition during winter may require some effort and it's always recommended you be very thorough, but the final result will be a yacht that will bring you joy for many years. A good yacht maintenance company can help a lot with boat winterization.
    No part should be left unchecked from the hull and the winches to the electronics and yacht engines. Even if you just need boat cleaning, approach it seriously. However, if you can't wait for the winter to end, you can always arrange for a boat transfer to a warmer place. The choice is yours, and Euronautic will always be there to assist you.

     

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