Wintering your Boat – Key Maintenance Tips

Custom black boat cover

While we are experiencing a beautiful autumn in Hawke’s Bay, it is a shame that the boat has been sitting there unable to hit the water for most of it. But there are still ways you can interact with your boat while she’s land-locked.

If you have some time up your sleeve, this is a perfect time to carry out the much needed maintenance on your pride and joy.

A few simple tips for wintering your boat:

Keep her warm and dry

Breathable stone guard cover for boat
  • Remove water from all open or hidden cavities to avoid build up of mould, algal growth and unpleasant odours.
  • Remove life jackets, squabs and other marine upholstery soft furnishings, and store in a dry place well away from rodents (rats love soft fabrics and foam!)
  • If possible, cover your boat with a cover that permits some airflow – this will reduce the level of condensation that may build up during cold mornings.

Look after her upholstery

PVC clears and customised boat canopy
  • If removing clears and covers, as far as possible store these in a flat or rolled position to avoid creases forming that will detract from the look of this material
  • Store clears well away from any heat source that may damage the clear PVC or cause shrinkage
  • Think about updating the upholstery on your boat seats if needed

Apply some TLC and keep her safe

Check your boat trailer tyre and rotate them every so often
  • Apply a good spray of CRC water-repellent to mechanical and stainless steel fittings, reducing chances of corrosion.
  • Rotate the trailer wheels to prevent the tyres deforming.
  • Talk to your engine service provider regarding storage of the remaining fuel in your tank – some recommend filling the tank to the top, others recommend dumping “old” fuel.
  • This is also a great time to check the shackles holding your anchor chain – have they worn over summer and are in danger of breaking in the next blow?
  • And while you are spending less on fuel and bait per month it may be a good time to update your flares and other safety gear.

Winter is also a great time to talk to our experts if you have questions or ideas for your boat – our experienced craftspeople are always keen to chat about material options, designs and ways to enhance your boating experience.