As temperatures drop and winter approaches, it's time to shift gears in our boating adventures. Here are the top tips on how to get your boat ready for the cold season ahead.
If the boat is coming out the water, cleaning will be a lot more effective and efficient allowing to remove all grime and debris and any marine life and algae that has invaded the bottom of the boat and parts such as the rudders and shafts etc.
The best method of cleaning for this would be to power wash this with fresh water for both the top side and hull of the boat.
Inspect the Boat
Take this time to inspect all aspects of the boat, making note of any repairs or changes that need to be made. This is the best time to start getting your boat back up to spec before the summer sun.
Fuel can break down inside the tank over the winter, follow your boat manufacturers guidelines on how to stabilise your fuel for the winter, to ensure the return in the warmer weather goes as smooth as possible.
Inside the boat
Take out all upholstery and items that can become damp and mouldy within the boat. Ideally getting a dehumidifier to collect as much moisture as possible.
Oil Change and Cooling System
Ensure that the engine's oil has been replaced. Additionally, check the freeze level of the coolant on the closed side of the cooling system to confirm its sufficiency. This precaution ensures that the engine is well-prepared for the winter months, especially if it remains in the water during this period.
Disconnect The Battery
Before tucking your boat away for winter hibernation, one crucial step in the winterisation process is disconnecting the battery. By doing so, you prevent the slow discharge that can occur over the colder months, ensuring a fresh start when it's time to hit the water again. Turn off all electrical components on the boat, including lights, radios, fridges and any other devices connected to the battery. Locate the battery and carefully disconnect it . This simple yet vital action not only preserves battery life but also minimises the risk of electrical issues and ensures a smoother and more reliable return to the water when warmer days beckon.
Leaving The Boat In Water
If the boat is being left in the water, it is recommended that the boat is started up often enough so ensure it still starts okay and doesn’t damage the engine.
Ice Cold Wisdom: Why Waiting for Warmer Weather is Key for Your Boat
Painting a boat during winter is generally discouraged for several reasons. Firstly, the colder temperatures can negatively impact the paint application and drying process. Most marine paints have specific temperature requirements for optimal adhesion and curing, and colder weather can lead to uneven application, longer drying times, and compromised paint quality.
Additionally, the humidity levels during winter can affect the paint's ability to bond and cure properly. Excessive moisture in the air may cause the paint to bubble, peel, or not adhere properly to the boat's surface.