How to prepare your boat for winter storage

How to prepare your boat for winter storage

Remember, the period of its operation and the subsequent quality of the mechanisms work depends on how correctly the preparatory measures for storing the vessel are carried out. Before the beginning of the winter period, it is recommended to draw up a work plan and determine the date of re-entry. This will help to reduce future maintenance costs.

Where to begin?

The first priority is to get the ship ashore. To do this, you should install the hull on a transport sled or keel blocks, which are prepared in advance. It is possible to use wooden linings as a resource saving option. The distance from the ground to the tangent bottom is at least 1.5 meters. This height is most convenient for inspecting the bottom and carrying out the necessary technical work.

On the shore, place the pulled out hull of the ship so that the bow "looks" to the southwest, then the sun's rays will warm it evenly from both sides.

Task number 2: remove and disassemble the power mechanisms. They should be stored in a warm place, for example, in a room where the humidity is low, since they will not tolerate wintering in the open air.

But what if the yacht has to spend the winter outdoors?

Then you should install a canopy or pull up an awning to protect the property from precipitation and bad weather. When purchasing such an awning, pay attention to the ventilation holes, which will prevent the appearance of condensation inside the enclosed space.

Keep in mind that such storage may damage the appearance of the yacht, as well as reduce the life of the yacht.

Features of winter storage of fiberglass boats

Before winter storage, it is required to clean the surface of the yacht. It is necessary to wash the sides thoroughly from adhering particles and dirt, remove the growths. It is advisable to use special equipment, but if you wash by hand, then use only those cleaning agents that do not leave scratches (no abrasive particles). When cleaning windows and hatches, do not use deck brushes unless you want to scratch them.

If in places there are bulges on the body, then this signals a problem called "osmosis". It is imperative to clean up all manifestations of osmosis, then rinse with a solution containing acetone. Wait until the boat is completely dry. This usually takes at least 10 days. If, after carrying out these works, irregularities appear, then they should be filled with polyester resin with a filler. When the resin has impregnated the hull, it is topcoated with an adapted epoxy-based paint. For yachts sailing in salt water, this paint is ideal.

Features of winter storage of wooden boats

Wooden boats get dirty enough, but cleaning work does not require much effort. The surface of wooden boats is uneven, so cleaning by hand is ineffective. It is better to use special devices. If the wood is spoiled by the woodworm, then the damaged areas must be treated with a 10% solution of copper sulfate. After the wood has dried, prime it.

The interior of the vessel is thoroughly washed with water and chlorine, ventilated and covered. The boat is covered with a tarpaulin. It is necessary to consider the ventilation option in order to exclude stagnation of air, which entails the appearance of an unpleasant odor.

In preparation for conservation, lubrication work is carried out.

  1. All metal hinges (latches, etc.) must be cleaned of corrosion, lubricated with a special gel.
  2. All rubberized parts, including those on the seals, should be well lubricated with an oil solution.
  3. Unscrew and lubricate all threaded connections (valves, turnbuckles, etc.).

Furniture should be dismantled completely, as it is negatively affected by high humidity and temperature drops.

System conservation. In what order?

Preparing the engine

The engine must not be left unattended throughout the winter season. It will have to be started periodically so that the parts are lubricated through special channels. In the future, there will be no problems with the engine if the following works are performed:

  • drain oil, replace filters (oil and fuel);
  • remove water from the cooling system;
  • fill the systems with antifreeze solution;
  • cover large parts and mechanisms with an anti-corrosion agent.

Preparing the electrical system:

  • dismantle batteries and radio navigation equipment;
  • treat contacts that cannot be dismantled with a special compound for electrical equipment.

Fuel system preparation:

  • fill the fuel tank with fuel;
  • add a fuel stabilizer to prevent condensation;
  • drain hoses and store.

Portable tanks can be removed and installed for the winter in a well-ventilated room.

Sail preparation

Keep the sails dry and clean, so preparation starts with washing. Small sails can be soaked in a powder bath, while large sails are easier to wash with a soap and brush and spread out on a concrete floor. Then rinse and dry.

If fungal stains or mold are found, place the sail in a chlorine solution for 2 hours, rinse thoroughly and dry.

Rust or oil stains can be removed with a mild hydrochloric acid solution, while paint or varnish stains can be easily removed with trichloroethane.

Completely dry canvases should be folded so that the vertical folds are significantly less than the horizontal ones. Fold the mainsail and staysail along the fold parallel to the leech, and then roll it up. The work must be done carefully so that later the fabric does not look wrinkled.

Rigging preparation

Mooring and anchor lines, standing and running rigging should be inspected, damaged and worn out, washed and dried. Replace rigging with shaggy ends, bent rivets, rusted parts.

Dismantle the anchor chain, clean, rinse with fresh running water, dry and store in a dry room with good ventilation.

Dismantle the upper part of the windlass, the capstan. Carry out cleaning work, grease with Teflon compound, collect. Repeat the same procedure with the steel cables, which are then hung on the hooks. Each cable can be assigned a number in order to facilitate the assembly process in the spring and not to confuse anything.

Preparing the mast

When disassembling the mast, remove all removable parts. To keep the mast straight, position it horizontally using the props. Wash the metal spar inside and out, dry well and treat with paraffin wax.


After completing the preparatory work, write down in the log all the identified defects that need to be eliminated. This will help determine the time and money spent on repairs, as well as set the date for launching the vessel.

Timely conservation in accordance with the rules prolongs the life of the yacht and significantly reduces the risk of unforeseen breakdowns.


To add a comment, please log in