Line up storage: Do you have space on your property or will you need to rent a storage space? If you are looking for dry storage, keep in mind spaces often have waiting lists. If you are going to store your yacht outdoors and protect it with a tarp, protective cover, or shrink-wrap, you will have more options however you should still allow time for checking the condition of your protective covers and or scheduling a shrink-wrap. Once that’s addressed you can follow these basic steps for winterization.
Clean the exterior: pressure-wash the hull, remove barnacles, check for damage, make repairs, and wax the hull.
Clean the interior: scrub the kitchen, empty the fridge, clean out all storage lockers and compartments, and either remove cushions or set them on edge to promote air circulation.
Remove onboard items: guard against theft or damage during storms; bring home first aid and survival gear to inspect them for damage in case they need replacing before the next boating season.
Check and prepare the inboard engine: change the oil and filter, flush the motor, add antifreeze to the manifold, remove spark plugs, and use fogging oil on the cylinders.
Inspect the stern drive: rid it of debris, drain the gear case, check for damage, and follow the owner’s manual for maintenance recommendations.
Fill fuel tanks: ensure they are full to guard against water condensation during the cold weather.
Empty bilges: should be clean and dry.
Inspect and prepare the freshwater: draining the freshwater and hot water tank before flushing with non-toxic antifreeze.
Empty the waste tank and pump with fresh water: follow the protocol outlined in the owner’s manual.
Conduct a full inspection of your yacht before you secure and cover it for the winter. Always consult the owner’s manual for specific requirements for your vessel’s maintenance and care.
If this work is beyond your skill set, hire professionals to winterize your vessel for you properly. Before you store your boat or yacht for the winter, consult the boat insurance experts at Global Marine Insurance to ensure your yacht insurance covers you adequately during storage.