Skip to main content

Winter's Folly Page 2

Do you winterize your own engine, or do you have the yard do it? I take the former approach, for three reasons. As my dad used to say, if you want to be sure a job’s done properly, do it yourself; I’ve seen some pretty sketchy work done by so-called marine professionals over the years.The second reason? It seems silly to pay someone to do a job that’s a) not very time-consuming, b) not at

Plumbing

I gave up running antifreeze through the freshwater system a couple of years ago. Instead, I drain the tank and all the lines as thoroughly as possible. The quick-connect Whale fittings I replumbed the boat with make this an easy chore. By disconnecting the tubing at the low spots I can get virtually all the water out of the system. I’ll disconnect the diaphragm freshwater pump and run that for a few seconds to clear the water out of its chambers, and then drain the water heater tank.

All this water runs straight into the bilge sump, where I’ll add a healthy shot of biodegradable bilge cleaner and scrub the bilge before pumping it out. I leave the pump disconnected and the faucets open, and that’s that.

I disconnect the heads intake pipe, insert it into a jug of non-toxic antifreeze and pump it through the toilet until there’s a few inches in the bowl.

And that is pretty much that.

Electrics

I’ve never had a problem with leaving electronics on board over a Northeastern winter, though I’ll unmount the chart plotter and take it and the Tacktick instrument displays home. I always remove both house batteries and the cranking battery and store them in the basement over the winter, trickle charging them once a month and making sure the electrolytes are topped up.

A squirt of Boeshield T-9 or CRC contact cleaner on electrical connections is not a bad idea. In any case, now is a good time to inspect the cables leading to essentials like the bilge pump(s). If there’s any hint of corrosion on the connectors, either cut them off and install new ones, or rub them with a piece of wet & dry until they’re bright and shiny again.

Other Stuff

All this is just the tip of the winterizing iceberg. There is much more to do. But if you’ve taken care of these three departments, you’ll sleep soundly even if you’ve been too lazy to do anything else.

Related

thumbnail_Jump-1

The Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race Returns

It’s been four years since racers last sailed the cold North Atlantic in the venerable Marblehead-to-Halifax race—and finally, the wait is over. The Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron have announced the 39th Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race set for this ...read more

Wendy-2048px

Meet Wendy Mitman Clarke, Editor-in-Chief of SAIL magazine

Learn more about how she and the magazine’s team are committed to building on SAIL’s legacy of more than 50 years as an authentic voice about the sport and the sailing life, delivering stories that educate, inspire and inform. ...read more

maintenance-02

Cruising: Old Sailors Never Die

“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.” It may be a hoary old joke, but one of my problems at age 79 is I can no longer get easily in and out of a little dinghy, and neither can my (several years younger than me) wife. For this, and various other reasons I will ...read more

01-LEAD-DSC_0953

The Mighty Compass

Here’s to the humble magnetic compass, without a doubt the sailor’s most reliable instrument onboard. It’s always there for you and with the rarest of exceptions, always operational. Yes, I love my chartplotter, autopilot, radar, and AIS. They help me be a safer and more ...read more

02-En-route-Jost-Van-D

Chartering: Swan Song in the BVI

Joseph Conrad once wrote, “The sea never changes.” And while this may or not be true, something most definitely not open for debate is the fact we sailors, “wrapped in mystery,” as Conrad put it, are continually changing—whether we like it or not. I found myself thinking these ...read more

220307FP51_1JML0332

Boat Review: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

If you can sell more than 150 catamarans off-plan before the resin has even hit the fiberglass, you must be doing something right. Despite costing around $1.1 million once fitted out and on the water, Fountaine-Pajot’s new 51 has done just that. The French yard has been at it ...read more

00LEAD-IMG-9035

Ready to Fly a New Sail

It’s a typical humid, southern Chesapeake Bay summer day when I show up on the doorstep of Latell & Ailsworth Sailmakers in the one-stoplight, one-lane-roadway, rural tidewater town of Deltaville, Virginia. I’m late getting here to work on a new jib for my 29-foot, Bill ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Dates for the 2024 America’s Cup Announced

Ever since making the controversial decision to hold the next America’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain, instead of in home waters, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has been hard at work organizing logistics for the event.  The Racing Area for the Challenger Selection Series and the ...read more