Boat Maintenance - 10 Tips

Ten Quick Tips for Winter 2014

As boats are being prepared laid up for winter it is a good time to carry out general maintenance and ensure your yacht is ready for spring 2015.

1.        A good clean up is always a good start and you will be surprised by the amount of stuff collected during a summer season and you will probably find things which you thought were lost.

2.         Clearing out all the soft furnishings and keeping them in a dry environment to stop them going mouldy. Ensure sufficient ventilation is going throughout the boat.

3.         Check that all cockpit drains are cleared

4.       Keeping the windows seals / frames clean and clear from moss and growth.

5.         Servicing the engine(s) before the yard engineer get too busy in spring time.

6.         Fuel Systems – Keeping the fuel tank full or just empty for the winter? Now that is subject to many discussions. If the fuel tank is kept empty over the winter a certain amount of water condensation will appear within the tank. Being heavier than fuel it will sit in the bottom of the tank for the winter time until the next spring refill where it will get mixed with the fuel and eventually makes its way into the engine fuel system. This could be an issue if you haven’t got a fuel / water separator before the main fuel filter. They are easy to fit and very useful.

An other option is to keep the fuel tank full so to minimize the amount of water condensation generated by change of temperatures. The only thing is that fuel quality lowers the longer it is kept. A bit like a ‘sell by date’ and there is a risk of developing ‘fuel bugs’.

Don’t panic, there are many ways available to ‘kill’ those little bugs!

See our blog about ‘Fuel Treatment’ for more details.

So really both concept have their pros & cons and many different opinions can be heard

7.         Service your seacocks / packing glands / stern tube whilst the vessel is ashore. They are very often neglected.

8.         Make sure the batteries are kept alive during the winter by either having them stored in the yard (if available) on a charging bench or by keeping them on trickle charge either on board or in a shed.

9.         Plan the maintenance / work schedule ahead so you don’t have to rush through it comes spring.

10.        Check with your insurance company when you are due for a renewal. This would be a good time to carry out an insurance survey whilst the vessel is winterized and/or ashore. It will save you having to lift it out a second time during the summer time. And gives you peace of mind for the coming season. Give us a call for a competitive quote.

Wishing you all a warm winter season with no problems

For more information contact European Marine Services Ltd    (inc European Marine Surveys)          Tel :  01603 327 123