Preparing a Yacht for the Winter

יאכטה בנמל קפוא - הכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף

Preparing a Yacht for the Winter, The winter is coming! Some continue to sale whereas others take a timeout for resting.

Preparing a yacht for the winter – how do you prepare the yacht for dry storage? What are the dangers lurking for a catamaran in the winter and how do we avoid wear?

Where do we begin?

In this article, we go over the systems that require special maintenance for preservation and servicing in the winter.

This information will help you care for your yacht in the best possible way – whether it is moored to a quay or stored on dry land. So let’s begin 🙂

הוצאת הקטמרן מהמים לאחסון חורף - הכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף I Preparing a Yacht for the Winter

The lines:

If the yacht is in the water –

  • All lines are to be inspected for good condition
  • Replace abraded lines that are just waiting for the next storm (during which they will just snap).
  • Have the yacht moored with duplicate lines.
  • Make sure that lines have equal tension.
  • Pad friction points with lines or avoid these points as much as possible.
חבלים וטיפול נכון ביאכטה I  lines on the yacht are to be inspected for good condition

If the yacht is being stored outside the water:

This is a good period to replace worn lines and remove all lines that are not in use – rinse with freshwater, dry and store

חבל שחוק - הכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף I Worn line - preparing the catamaran yacht for winter

Sails:

When the sales are kept in place for the wet winter period without being used:

If it’s inside the mast, in a lazy pack or rolled up in the jib roller system:

They do not dry out quickly and remain enclosed.

This only increases the chance of moisture, mold and spots accumulating.

הכנת מערך המפרשים לחורף I Preparing the sails for the winter

To prevent this:

1. Remove sails before storage

2. Rinse with freshwater.

3. Fold them when they are completely dry.

Keep halyards and cords from the mast and lower a lazy pack. Secure a jib swivel to the roller.

Servicing the diesel tank

It is recommended to keep the tank full to prevent moisture in it. Moisture will cause water and mold to accumulate in the tank.

It is also recommended to add a diesel additive that prevents / kills the fungi.

טיפול במיכל דלק I Fuel tank treatment

Seawater systems:

To prevent corrosion of the seawater systems in the boat, it is recommended to drain seawater from all systems

and add freshwater. If the boat is being stored in cold areas, add antifreeze.

The main systems in the yacht are:

Motor, generator, air conditioning, desalinator, etc.

Have each of these systems serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

חומר ANTIFREEZE ליאכטה I ANTIFREEZE material for the yacht
photo credit: https://www.westmarine.com/

photo credit: https://www.westmarine.com/

Freshwater system:

It is recommended to keep the tank full to prevent an “air pocket” in the tank that could cause mold to accumulate.

In addition it is recommended to add purification tablets / fluid to the system (before the beginning of the season, change water in the tank).

Another method is completely draining the system – in cold places add antifreeze to the water system.

Batteries:

During the winter, disconnect the starting batteries in the boat to extend their lifetime and prevent power loss.

Make sure to recharge the batteries once a month at least or connect them to charging on a regular basis if possible.

טיפול במצברי היאכטה I Proper handling of yacht batteries

For the consumer bank:

It is recommended to disconnect all consumers, except for bilge pumps, which will prevent flooding of compartments in the case of water ingress.

Toilets and blackwater tank:

Empty blackwater tanks and rinse with freshwater before storage, to keep the tank clean and prevent malodors. In addition, rinse toilets with freshwater and empty them.

Toilets and black water in the yacht
photo credit: LIFEFORSTOCK https://www.freepik.com/author/lifeforstock

Photo credit: LIFEFORSTOCK https://www.freepik.com/author/lifeforstock

You are invited to read the following article on pumping out holding tanks:

https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice/expert-advice-archive/2016/january/pump-outs-the-scoop-on-poop

Deck equipment

Rinse, dry and store all seamanship and safety equipment in an enclosed place that is not exposed to sunlight, rain or wind. In this period there is no reason for equipment of any type staying exposed on deck.

Store all equipment in lockers or in the boat. This protects them from theft at the storage site.

For pulleys, crabs and moving parts on the deck and the sail set, these are to be cared for using a special spray.

Preparing a Yacht for the Winter
photo credit: https://www.freepik.com/author/bublikhaus

photo credit: https://www.freepik.com/author/bublikhaus

Lubrication of moving parts

Lubricate moving metal parts that will not be moving in the near future to prevent rust that could cause them to snag from accumulating, particularly in the machinery field.

This section does not apply to pulleys and deck accessories that have servicing as mentioned in the deck equipment section.

גלגלות וטיפול נכון ביאכטה I Lubrication of moving parts on the yacht

Comprehensive inspection:

Use the time while the boat is outside the water to conduct a comprehensive inspection:

Hull –

  • Fiberglass and gelcoat defects
  • Inspection of the zincs
  • Leaks from all systems
  • Corrosion and rust
  • Check of electrical connections
יאכטה במספנה מחוץ למים - A yacht out of the water at a shipyard

Propulsion system –

Conduct a comprehensive inspection of the system:

  • Driveshaft, propeller, bearings and cutlass bearings.
  • It is recommended to inspect shaft for looseness, connection of the keel and hull.
  • Make sure that the bilge pump is working when the main circuit breakers are off.
ניקיון והכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף I Cleaning and preparing the catamaran yacht for winter

Cleaning:

This is the best time to clean the boat fully, with emphasis on places that are difficult to clean during the season.

  1. Remove all food that may go bad.
  2. Clean out refrigerators, cupboards and upholstery.
  3. Clean out the bridges and boat subsystems.
ניקיון היאכטה לקראת החורף I Cleaning the yacht for the winter

It is strongly recommended to clean fully at the beginning of storage and also maintain cleanliness during the winter, once a month at least, inside and outside.

Covers:

Covering the boat will prevent ingress and accumulation of rainwater in the boat. Keep the cockpit / helm and exterior furniture, the line winch / anchor enclosed.

סגירת קוק פיט כהכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף I Closing the cookpit to prepare the catamaran for the winter

Follow manufacturer’s instructions:

Desalinators, air conditioners, motor and generator have detailed storage instructions from their manufacturers. Follow these instructions.

ניקיון חדר מנוע והכנת היאכטה קטמרן לחורף

In conclusion:

Preparing a catamaran for the winter is important and necessary. Some people sail in the winter too, which is welcome. But many skippers decide to keep their catamaran or yacht stored outside the water or in a marina far from home.

One way or the other, this is a good time to take a timeout and see to it that our yacht and the various systems in it are properly stored and cared for. After all, we all know that after the winter the preparations for our next trip begin. We will discuss this in our next article.

You are welcome to contact the A.G. Yachting team, specializing in ship management, maintenance and care.

You are also welcome to look at all the additional articles and further information in our blog:

https://ag-yachting.com/blog/

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