Howard McMichael Photo courtesy McMichaels Yacht Yard.

Even if your boat is out of the water, it may not be ready for the long cold winter. Make sure your boat will be in good condition in the spring and no worse for wear by following our top 10 list for winterizing. Remember, anything left in the boat will be susceptible freezing and thawing, prolonged dampness, so it is best to get everything out of the boat.

  1. Remove all your sails and take them home. Better yet, take them to UK Sailmakers for cleaning, maintenance, and winter storage. Also remove all cushions so that they are not exposed to mold and mildew. Removing sails and cushions eliminates the risk of some animal getting into your boat during the winter and finding your cushions more comfortable than its nest in the woods.

  2. Take the anemometer and Windex off the masthead. No reason to have their bearings worn down in the strong winter winds.

  3. Use messenger lines to remove your halyards from the mast so they aren’t exposed to the winter elements.

  4. Clean all your cabinets with a Clorox wipe to get any onset mildew or mold that would get worse during the winter.

  5. Make a punch-list of things to be purchased, replaced, or repaired before next season.

  6. Check your batteries and, if possible, remove them. If they are too big, make sure to set up a trickle charger.

  7. Winterize your head and holding tank.

  8. Have a trained mechanic winterize your engine, or better yet learn how to do it yourself. Changing the oil, transmission fluid, fuel filters and running anti-freeze through the raw water system is not hard – just dirty.

  9. Make sure no lines or equipment is lying at the bottom of a lazarette or locker where water can accumulate.

  10. Cover your boat…properly and snugly.

If you have any questions, contact your nearest UK Sailmaker.

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