The onset of the first cold weather heralds many exciting events in the life of every resident of our country, whether it's the New Year holidays or winter holidays and sports in the company of friends and family. For owners of boats and yachts the winter period is doubly special, because under rapidly changing weather conditions of the middle strip it is necessary to carefully follow the rules of care of your favorite boat.
Winter conservation and timely maintenance is the key to keeping your vessel running flawlessly in the new season and the best way to extend its service life. Depending on climatic conditions and technical capabilities, there are options for winter storage in the open air, under a canopy or in the boathouse. The latter option is safest and allows to start repairing and preparing for launching already at early stages. In the boathouse, yachts dry out faster and this improves their technical condition.
Several steps should be taken to prepare the boat for winter storage.
Change the oil.
Water and acids may corrode the motor. Change the filter and blow it out with a strong jet of air so that there is no water left. Then refill with new oil.
Fill up with fresh antifreeze.
Drain the old antifreeze and fill it with fresh. Make sure you choose an antifreeze that meets the manufacturer's specifications. It will keep engine parts from freezing and protect them from corrosion.
Use preservative oil.
Make the engine rotate without starting it, and while it rotates, spray preservative oil into the carburetor or through the spark plug hole, whichever method is recommended in your instruction manual. This will protect rotating engine parts during winter frost.
Remove the drive belts
When in the tensioned position for a long time, the drive belts may crack under load. Loosen or completely remove them before wintering.
Lubricate the steering mechanism
Lubricating the controls and controls ensures a smooth start to the new season. Make sure all joints are well impregnated with water repellent grease.
Take care of the battery
Do not let your battery completely discharge over the winter. Disconnect the battery and fill it with distilled water on top. From time to time, recharge the battery so that it is fully operational when you bring the boat back into the water.
Seal the exhaust port
On a yacht with a stationary motor, seal the exhaust openings. Some boats have large enough exhaust openings so that pests can get into your engine. You can use adhesive tape to seal the holes.
Take care of the interior
Remove the electronics - they are sensitive to cold and humidity. Any organic material, including leather, canvas or fabric of any type, should be removed as excess moisture can lead to mould and rot.
Antifreeze in the water and sewerage system.
Empty the water tanks and run the antifreeze through the water pipes.
Wash and herd the boat.
Wash the boat nicely inside and out. Cover the hull with wax. Wax will prevent rust, which is especially important if you are going to store the boat outside. The cover will protect the boat from dirt, dust and mildew.
To save time and effort, you can entrust the care of your boat to professionals. This service is offered today by all major marinas. For example, the largest Russian yachting holding Burevestnik Group has a separate structure for yacht servicing - «Marine Engineers». Mechanics will clean and lubricate metal parts, wash and fill with high-quality antifreeze based on food propylene glycol of water supply and sewerage systems, perform full maintenance of the engine and generator. The given way of preparation for winter storage will ideally suit both skilled «sea wolves», and people having not so much experience of shipbuilding, and the professional help becomes pledge of long and reliable work of your favourite boat.