Yacht owners who are lucky enough to live and dock their boat in Florida, rarely have to make any special preparations for the “winter” months. However, that is not the case all over the country, where many boat owners need to sadly face the end of a boating season, and prepare their vessels to survive the winter chills until spring.
If you live in a part of the country known to experience harsh winters such as New England, then the very best way to ensure that your boat survives undamaged, is to have her dry-docked under cover, in a climate-controlled boat storage area. That may not be practical for all boat owners, so here are some general tips and precautions you need to do, to protect your investment, by winterizing your vessel.
Even if you don’t live in an area that experiences a “deep freeze” following these tips will keep your boat in “ship shape” and ready to go when the season starts up again!
- Clean and detailed – Prior to storing your boat for the winter, she should be completely scrubbed clean and detailed. Not only with this help to protect her gelcoat, fiberglass, and other vulnerable surfaces, but it will mean less time to get her ready when she comes out of storage.
- Cooling System – You need to flush the cooling system to remove any salt, dirt and corrosion. In extreme climate areas you should also run anti-freeze into the cooling system.
- Engines – Your engines also should be cleaned, treated and properly prepped to remove build-up and protect internal engine components during the long period of lack of use. There are various marine engine cleaning products that have been specifically engineered to be run through the fuel system to dissolve gum and varnish, remove internal carbon deposits, displace moisture and stabilize fuel during storage. Of course, you should change the engine oil and oil filters prior to winter storage.
- Interior Spaces – Once you have taken care to properly shut down all of the operational systems you should remove any valuables, scuba gear, electronics, PFDs and other safety gear, etc. Remove seat cushions, if possible. To keep your boat dry and mildew-free, and she does not have an onboard dehumidifier, you may want to install one, or use some a commercially available odor and moisture absorber product.
These are only some basic winterizing tips, be sure to consult your vessels owner’s manual for any specific manufacturer’s recommendations on winterizing your boat and her systems.
The Value of Preventive Maintenance
Preparing your yacht for the winter, is all part of a comprehensive plan of preventive maintenance. Any boat owner will tell you it is far less costly in time and money, to be proactive, and make every effort to prevent problems, than it is to repair them once they occur!
Preventive maintenance saves not only saves you on costly repairs, it extends the life of your yacht. Protecting your valuable asset during the winter, and all other proactive efforts also helps to maintain her value when it becomes time to sell. One way to ensure that your yacht is getting all the regular workouts and upkeep she needs all year round, is to sign up for our On Demand Yachting or Charter Income programs.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968.