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How to Winter-Proof your Vessel

Anodes & skin fittings

Before laying up for winter it is essential to check that your anodes are in good condition, are working properly andhave plenty of capacity leftIt is also worth checking all your skin fittings, seacocks etc. for any signs of electrolysis that may appearas Green tinges or “pink” metals or even a white fur. Our salvage operations are always busier in winter months recovering vessels that have succumb to water ingress often through electrolysis. It is also worth noting that during the winter months snow and ice can change the characteristics of your vessel’s water line as they are not able to freely drain away like rainwater. We have recovered several vessels that have holes above the normal water line usually from removed sink or cockpit drains which then become sub merged whenthe vessel mass increases due to the added load of snow/ice. It is worth checking all your fittings!!Any doubts ask us at Bluepoint and we would be happy to come and take a look at your boat to discuss any possible issues.

2. Enginges & Heating Systems

The cold winter months can lead to engines becoming damaged if there is not the correct levels ofantifreeze in their cooling systems. Similarly heating systems on bargescan also become damaged so it may be worth looking at a winter drain down. We can organize this for you and check the glycol amount in your systems as well as a full winterization ofall types of engines.If you are not using your boat and are also without a modern battery management system then chances are your battery life will also be depleted and when you come to start her you may well be greeted with a flat battery.A common mistake is people using car battery chargers which can cause considerable damage via electrolysis as they are not designed for the marine environment and put out stray current!Pleasecome and speak to us about a range of Marine systems that we can supply or fit if required.

3. Neglect

Closing your boat for winter without ensuring adequate dehumidification / heating can cause a myriad of issues if you are not planning to visit your boat regularly. Neglect is one of the most damaging and common mistreatment of vessels that come through our yard!Bearings seized, flat batteries, mold and mildew, water damage the list is endless and often expensive.If you would like us to keep an eye on your boat and keep it cleaned and fettled during lay up months we would happily provide the service!Our on site Chandlrey at the Boatyard can supply you with a range of items at good prices to allow you to locally source all of your boating related items.

4. Use it or Lose it!

Following a shortened season due the Pandemic why not extend your boating activitiesby using the now excellent weather forecasting data available.If you are berthed here at Liverpool Marina you have the added benefit of not only one of the most sheltered marinas in the UK for winter but also the River Mersey is a sheltered cruising ground that offers excellent sailing and boating opportunities all year round. Just look at the Liverpool Yacht Club who have far more competitors in winter months than in the Summer!Do not lock your boat up for winter but use it instead!In addition, and on a personal note I have had my own boat in various locations this summer.I had forgotten about losing sleep when your boat is on a mooring or at Holyhead and its blowing NE or in most other Marinas that have tidal surges and lack ofthe protection the cocks here offer with theirsurrounding walls and tall buildings.

Written by Andy Farrell Blue Point Marine Services

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