Maintenance

Snow, Sleet and Storms Page 2

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Next move to the engine and examine all belts and fuel lines for signs of wear or leaks. Check your batteries and either have the yard store them in a dedicated location or take them home; make a note to top them up at least once a month. Remove the impeller from the water pump. Do the same with all electronic gear; remove what you can.

Drain all water tanks and the hot water heater. Disconnect all lines at their lowest point and then clear them with compressed air. Leave all faucets and fittings open.

Remove all gear from deck and lazarette lockers. Make an inventory of these items so you know what you have and, more important, what you don’t have. Be sure all scuppers are clear and can drain properly.

Clean the galley stove, refrigerator and freezer, head, watermaker, water heater and holding tanks; follow the manufacturer’s instructions with regard to adding non-toxic antifreeze or other products. Put tags on all items showing the status of the equipment; i.e., valve open, fuse removed, etc.

Remove all food, including canned products that could be damaged if they freeze. Leave fridge and freezer doors open.

To avoid mildew belowdecks, clean everything possible with appropriate cleaning materials. For carpeting, use upholstery-cleaning solution, then vacuum it when it has dried.

Take all clothing, foul weather gear and linens off the boat. Don’t forget the swim gear.

Put a protective coating on all cleats, stanchions, and other metals on deck. Once the deck and hull have been cleaned, apply a coating of liquid polish designed for the marine environment. The polish will help protect gelcoat surfaces.

Finally, be sure the cover you install over your boat is properly sized and that its framing will not tear or chafe the cover material. Canvas covers are good because they breathe. A plastic shrink wrap cover will not breathe, so there should be at least one access door and one or two static vents to keep fresh air moving through the boat.

Whatever layup routine you follow, always document what you’ve done in detail. When the days finally start getting longer again, those notes give you a great head start on getting out on the water again.

For a full check list of things to remember, click the next page.

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