If you care about your yacht, winterizing it is definitely a practice not to be underestimated. But how to do it correctly?
When the boating season is winding down, it’s time to think about protecting your boat. All the time you spend winterizing your yacht is certainly well spent: your jewel will benefit from it when, in spring, it returns to the water for your enjoyment.
Winterizing a yacht is certainly one of the best seasonal maintenance practices, even essential, if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises and if you want to enjoy your yacht for many years to come.
Before you begin, prepare a checklist with everything you need to winterize your yacht. We recommend, if you have never done it before, to use the help of a professional to avoid mistakes that could cost you dearly.
1. Empty the fuel tank
First, check your yacht’s manual and see if there are specific manufacturer recommendations for the engine.
Then, empty the tank completely.
2. Replace filters and close valves
Close the fuel valves to prevent the formation of condensation and also seal the exhaust valves with duct tape. Subsequently, when you are preparing the yacht for use again, replace the fuel filter and water separator.
3. Use protective oil when storing your yacht
Take out the flame arrestor and spay fogging oil in the carburetor while the engine is running. Turn off the fuel supply in order to burn excess fuel and with the engine off, inject oil in the cylinders. Then clean the engine with an oil-impregnated cloth.
4. Antifreeze fluid
Filling the engine block with anti-freeze fluid is essential. Drain any cooling fluid left in the engine block and fill it again with new antifreeze. Choose the proper antifreeze for your yacht.
5. Change the engine oil
Extract all the exhausted or used oil and replace it with new oil at the beginning of the new yachting season. This will protect all internal parts from water and moisture.
6. Protect the battery
Remove the battery from the yacht and store it in a dry place. Before you remove it make sure it is fully charged.
For best performance, be sure to recharge the battery at least 4-5 times per year.
7. Check the propeller
Perform a thorough inspection of the yacht’s propeller. Check if all parts are intact and that there are no dents. If necessary, replace it.
8. Wash your yacht both internally and externally
Remove surface dirt with a cloth or a soft sponge. Before using any product on the outside of the hull, verify that it is safe for the coating. Ask an expert what type of product is best: products which are too aggressive may damage the hull.
9. Store the yacht in a dry place
Your yacht must be placed in a dry place, out of the water and covered, in a climate-controlled environment if possible to avoid too much moisture or too much dry heat. We realize that having a well-equipped storage place can be expensive: the best solution is therefore to choose a boatyard that can accommodate your yacht in its storage facilities.
10. Cover your yacht
Once you have identified the place to store your yacht during the cold season, make sure it is well covered with a tarp or some other sturdy cover, preferably waterproof. This practice insures protection even from insects and animal droppings.