A Quick Checklist To Keep Your Boat Protected In Winter
We’re well and truly in the midst of winter and for many boaters the harsher weather conditions and choppy waters mean the cold season is a time to stay on land!
But just because you’re not taking to the waves, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. In fact, when winter arrives, there are some steps you need to take to help keep your boat protected from the harsh elements.
Embracing The Off Season
For most boaters, winter brings a pause in boating activities, which provides the perfect opportunity to see to those essential maintenance jobs. By utilising this time wisely, you can carry out thorough checks to safeguard your boat from the harsh elements and keep it in tip-top shape ready for the spring when it’s time to take to the waters again.
Empty Tanks And Pipes
We’re already having a particularly cold winter, and it’s set to get worse in the coming weeks. These low temperatures can cause the water in your tank and pipes to freeze. As you may know, when water freezes, it expands, which can lead to burst pipes, cracked tanks or damaged plumbing systems.
Empty your water tanks, drain pipes and winterize plumbing systems with antifreeze to prevent freezing. Subzero temperatures can cause irreversible damage to your plumbing and tanks which would lead to costly repairs when you come to use your boat again.
This preventive measure helps to keep the boat's plumbing infrastructure and tanks intact, shielding you from costly repairs due to freezing water during the colder months.
Start by seeing to your boat’s routine maintenance and servicing tasks. Check the engine, propulsion systems and electrical components to ensure these are in good shape.
Likewise, conduct oil changes, inspect all your filters and address any mechanical issues to ensure optimal performance when the boating season gets back underway in the new year.
Secure Mooring Lines And Fenders
Are your mooring lines and fenders secure and in good condition? Check to make sure as this could be one extremely costly oversight! Add some more to provide additional support if needed.
Having properly tensioned lines and well-placed fenders in place will protect the boat from damage due to tidal shifts or harsh weather conditions during winter storms, so don’t overlook this important area.
The winter can bring some extreme weather conditions, which can be damaging for your boat’s exterior. To counter this and keep her protected, invest in quality covers or tarps to shield the boat from snow, rain, and debris.
By covering the vessel, this helps to prevent moisture ingress, protects the deck and interior and preserves the boat's overall condition. As well as maintaining the condition of your boat, this will help you avoid costly repairs.
Preventing Mould And Mildew
Items such as fabrics, cushions or items of food are prone to moisture retention and going mouldy. So start by removing these to help stave off mould.
In addition, ensure the boat's interior is dry and well-ventilated to reduce the risk of mould and mildew forming. Once you resume your boating in the spring, you’ll be glad you saw to this when there are no laborious clean-up jobs to do!
So those are some of the jobs to do with your boat in the off-season. While for many, winter is a time to stay on land away from the colder temperatures and harsh weather conditions, the cold season is a great time to get some of the essential maintenance done. This will help keep your vessel in good shape ready for when you get back on the water.
So remember to empty tanks and piping, see to any servicing requirements your boat has, remove perishables, securing mooring lines/fenders and add get your boat protected with some strong, sturdy covers.
If you need any watersport equipment or boating gear to help you carry out your maintenance, we should have just what you’re looking for.