10 tips for successful winterization
Winter is approaching. The time has come to protect your boat from the cold so that it will be ready next spring for another great season.
If you're an APRIL Marine customer, remember to use your online maintenance log, available free of charge, to enter any issues needing attention during the winter.
To request assistance and helpful hints from professionals, contact the APRIL Marine Maintenance team.
See our 10 tips to winterize your boat and avoid any bad surprises.
The winter might very well be a wet one, so don't forget to remove the electronic accessories from your boat, plus the onboard equipment (water skis, diving gear, etc.) and empty the lockers.
Any outdoor seating must be stored in a dry place and protected from UV rays, and preferably laid on its side.
For the batteries, it is advised to remove them for storage at home so that you can recharge them from time to time (ideally once a month), which will extend their life cycle.
Did you know?
An acid battery will lose from 2% to more than 10% of its charge each month (depending on the type of battery). The battery might deteriorate should its charge drop below 50% of capacity.
Emptying your boat will make it easier to clean all the accessories and to check the condition of equipment (distress flares, extinguisher, medicine cabinet, etc.). Be sure all these items are safely stored at home for the winter!
Once the boat has been emptied, now's the time for a major cleaning! Everything needs a wash: deck, flooring, lockers, dashboards, seats, cushions, everything!
You can use a multi-purpose cleaner for the planking, ceilings, walls and furniture. Remove the flooring for a good wash on the floating dock and allow for vertical drying on the dock rail before reinstallation in the boat. Clean the water tank and leave it unplugged for air to circulate. After cleaning the gas cooker, check the gas supply tube (note: these tubes have an expiration date and must be changed regularly). Remember to clean the mechanical accessories (windlass, winches, etc.). A disassembly / reassembly routine serves to rinse and lubricate the mechanisms. Applying an antibacterial agent in the toilet is also a good idea.
A thorough cleaning ensures maintaining your boat in good condition. To the greatest extent possible, use ecological products and remember to use specially designated treatment zones at marinas to discharge your wastewater.
Did you know?
Maintaining the onboard systems is essential to extending the life of your devices. Dusting the evaporator of a refrigerator once a year extends the life of the appliance by five or six years.
Your sails must be removed, folded and stored in a dry spot.
Take this opportunity to have them checked.
While you're at it, verify your rigging as well, even at the floating dock, which plays a role all winter.
Once the boat has been removed from water, you'll have an easier time cleaning its hull with a pressure water jet. Be sure to scrape off the seaweed and shellfish that may have stuck to the propellers, shafts and the rudder.
Once the boat has dried, it needs a cozy spot to spend winter, sheltered if possible. You can cover it with a tarp while allowing for good airflow to avoid mold and mildew.
If you're unable to remove your boat from the water during winter, make sure to check and double-up your mooring rope in case of heavy winds; also verify your protections (fenders).
Consider subscribing to a weather alert service to be warned in the event a wind gust advisory is issued for the zone where your boat is berthed.
Rinse and clean the motor by hooking up a water jet to its base. Start it up and let it run for 30 min. Next, use a soft sponge to avoid scratching the cover plate.
Once the motor assembly is dry, you can:
- lubricate the engine block to avoid corrosion and grease the screws,
- drain and change the fuel filters and oil separators,
- add antifreeze protection if appropriate for your region.
Should your motor be a diesel, be sure to fill the tank to avoid bacteria. If it's gasoline-powered, the opposite is true (gasoline ages very poorly).
If you don't enjoy the mechanical side, ask a professional to handle your motor maintenance. The APRIL Marine Maintenance team is at your service. Request a quote!
Your boat's maintenance may be a bit tricky, and mechanical skills are not learned by reading a manual. Feel free to contact HOLONIX.