Preparing Your Boat For Winter

While some continue to enjoy sailing opportunities all year round, options can be limited in poorer conditions. Many therefore choose to place their boat in storage over the cooler months. 

With summer slowly becoming a distant memory, it’s important to consider how to store your boat over the winter period to ensure it’s properly protected, secure and well maintained. 

Whether you’re new to owning a boat or you’ve had your trusty vessel for years, we’ll explore the best ways to keep it free from damage and in the best possible condition for the next season. 

Remove sails

This is especially important if you’re storing your boat outdoors as it will help stop it from being blown over. Make sure you keep the sails properly covered and protected to prevent mould or damage. If you can, store them so they hang upright or at least in the correct type of storage bag. You could also use this opportunity to repair or clean your sails if needed. 

Check your engine

The last thing you want is to get your boat out on the water in the spring and find the engine is damaged. Drain any onboard systems to prevent water from getting into the fuel tank through leaks or faulty seals. And always make sure to turn your engine over at least every six months if you’re going to be leaving it for a longer period. 

Take out any personal belongings and the motor

It makes sense to remove anything onboard your boat if you’re planning on leaving it in storage for a while. Taking out all personal items will help deter thieves while removing perishables can avoid mould growth.

Removing the onboard motor is vital as these can easily be a target for thieves. Store yours separately in a secure facility or take it home and place it in a locked garage if you can. 

Having the right boat insurance is a good idea, as this may be able to cover you in case something goes wrong while the boat is stored away. 

Keep a check on your boat

Rather than leaving your boat in a storage facility for months and forgetting about it, it’s wise to carry out checks to make sure nothing has been damaged and it’s in a good condition. This can stop further, irreparable damage and will ensure your boat is in tip-top shape when you do come to use it. 

Before taking your boat out into the water once more, make sure it has been properly serviced and all parts are working as they should. It’s also important to carry out safety checks and make sure you have everything you need onboard. 

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