Winterise your boat - Exterior
We previously looked at looked into how to Winterise your boat - Interior. and how to Winterise your boat - Engine. In this our final instalment we are focusing on Winterise your boat - Exterior.
Swanwick Marina, Hampshire, is a stunning marina and we were lucky enough to film this three part series. Special thanks to Clipper Marine for the loan of the two beautiful boats: a Bavaria Vision 46 sailing yacht and a Bavaria Sport 330 HT motor boat.
Dace Hill of Golden arrow Marine takes us through a simple and practical run through on how to winterize your boat, and for the key information in text, read below!
Wash and wax
It’s everyone’s favourite part of winterising - time to swab the deck and clean the hatches!
As your boat is going to be untouched for a while, it’s a idea to good to give it a decent clean so it looks in top condition for when the weather perks up. Not only does this remove any unwanted marks and bird mess, but is also a great time to find any repairs that are needed also.
Use a sea safe wash such as Star brite boat wash, which has no phosphates and a low sudsing formula, making it environmentally friendly too.
We recommend using a folding stowaway bucket like this one. Once you’re done cleaning, you can simply fold it down to just 1 and a half inches, giving you plenty more space and eliminating unnecessary clutter.
To make sure you can get to those had to reach places, a telescopic washing brush is the kind of thing you’re after. You need something that’s lightweight and sturdy and that you can attach your hose to. Look for one with a wash and rinse brush head for precise cleaning.
Once the boat is washed it's time to give it a bit of elbow grease and give it a good polish. Star bite marine polish lasts up to 4 times longer than other polishes, making it a sturdy choice of polish to endure the winter. This polish also provides long lasting protection against stains and UV rays (not that there’ll be too many of those this winter).
One area many boat owners forget is the deck shower head. It’s going to be getting pretty cold this winter and you don't want the head and inner parts to freeze and break.
A trusty tip is to use an elastic band to hold the switch open to allow the water to drain out, other wise just disconnect it and leave the shower head in the sink. Then once spring comes back around, pop it back on and you’re good to go.
Remove the gas tank
Make sure that you disconnect the gas bottle then put the dust cap back on.
Then leave the drain open- some of the gas locker drains have a tap on them.
It’s a good idea to have your gas system checked by an authorised dealer to make sure everything is running safely and efficiently.
Check the drains
Before leaving your boat over the winter months make sure that you check the cockpit drains for blockages, often caused by leaves and debris.
We do recommend that you do come back during the winter period to check over your boat, mostly to clear out the drain again for the last of the fallen leaves.
For those of you in a smaller boat using a trailer, make sure that your boat is put in such a position that it allows the water to drain out the drain hole located at the back.
Anode and propeller
If your boat is out of the water, this gives you the opportunity to look over the anodes and propeller.
Check on all your anodes and if they are corroded that’s a good sign that they are working. Depending how worn the anode is you can very lightly rub it down with a bit of sandpaper to try and get another season out of it. But it’s recommended that once 50% eaten up it’s time to change it.
Anode’s are extremely important to check, they are there to sacrifice themselves to prevent wear and damage over other metals. Failure to upkeep these will lead to corrosion and breakdown of the key components of the boat and a large payout to repair.
If you’re replacing the pear shaped anode under the boat remember that they taper towards the stern.
It’s also good practice to grease the pins and service the propeller. There are various products on the market that do this, including lots of environmentally friendly ones.
Applying propsheild stern gear antifouling grease to the propeller, prop shaft and more will eradicate barnacles from forming, stop electrolysis and oxidation,which will then lead to a longer lasting propeller.
Once you have tended to the propeller and anodes we recommend applying Ramonol advanced white marine grease. It’s a multiple purpose waterproof grease and will make sure key parts are lubricated over the cold winter months. Apply generously to the winch, wire ropes, gears, trailer and other metal surfaces prone to locking and rusting.
Check the bilges
One of the last jobs when winterizing your boat is to check the bilges.
Go around all the hatches, give them a good wipe down and clear out any water.
When you come back to check on the boat, if any water has appeared you can then investigate into where the water is coming from and proceed to get the issue fixed straight away.