Boats and their engines benefit from some ‘ TLC ’ before being laid up for the winter or extended periods; please consider the following precautions to enable you to provide the best care for your boat.
- Remove loose gear and equipment or stow away and secure
- Correctly furl and stow sails. Consider storing in a secure, dry location away from the vessel
- Remove Personal Effects and Consumables
- Remove electrical / battery operated equipment and / or the batteries from equipment and detectors to avoid deterioration or contamination as a result of damp and moisture
- Remove or store soft furnishings in a ventilated compartment to avoid mildew
- Empty, wipe clean and leave refrigerator doors open
- Consider ventilation throughout vessel without compromising its water tight integrity
- Flush engines with anti-freeze in line with manufacturer’s recommendations
- Fill fuel tanks to avoid fuel bugs
- Lead Acid Batteries to be topped up or removed and charged regularly if possible
- Check the condition of the engine oil and replace if no longer clear and bright
- Remove outboard engines and store securely preferably away from the vessel in a dry location
- Drain bilges
- Close seacocks (leave yourself a note to open before starting the engine up at any time)
- Flush out and empty toilet tanks
- Lag pipes that you are unable to completely drain
- Disconnect gas bottles and store securely aboard or away from the vessel
- Shut down and drain the heating system in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations
- Ensure tight fitting and durability of all protective covers
If you are leaving the vessel afloat in a marina with services or you have a wind generator in situ your engines may benefit from a regular start up. Try to find the time to visit the vessel on a regular basis throughout the laid-up period and run the engines for 20-30 minutes. The heating system may also benefit from a regular start up and run.
The above tips are suggestions and guidelines based on our own experiences. You should always refer to manufacturer’s recommendations for the best protection of your engines, batteries, electrical and or battery-operated equipment.