Heavy rain, flooding, winds, ice, snow and even just very low temperatures can cause all kinds of problems for your boat. As well as the impact of weather on your boat, they could also be swept away, take on water or even suffer a hull breach.
How best to prepare your boat for Winter
However, there are some simple precautions that you can take, which can reduce the likelihood of winter damage or emergency repairs and they can be done simply and easily by you.
So, rather than waiting for a disaster to strike, take action now and protect your boat!
Think about some of the below, and whether these could work for you.
• Remove all soft furnishings from your deck, including anything that could blow away or be damaged.
• Empty and deep clean any fridges – consider turning them off if you can. If you do this, ensure you leave the fridge door open until it is used again.
• You could also consider investing in a dehumidifier to remove unnecessary moisture from the boat.
• Frost is your engines enemy during a sustained cold snap, especially when the temperature drops below freezing. Always revert to the manufacturer’s recommendations for winterisation of your engine or consult a marine engineer.
• If your boat is staying in the water over Winter, you should consider adding extra mooring lines and fenders to enure your boat is suitably secured.
• Check on your boat regularly or arrange for the marina to do so on your behalf.
• In windy conditions, always check ropes for chafing; ensure they are well positioned and adjusted to the conditions.
• If your boat is in the water, make sure that you run the engine regularly; consider having your engine checked, especially if you haven’t had a service in a while.
• You should ensure all on deck electronic covers are tightly fitted and secure.
• Check that your bilge pumps are easy to access and fully operational. If you don’t have one already, consider investing in an automatic bilge pump – and don’t be complacent; just because it automatically operates, it still needs checking regularly.
• Check your boat’s batteries are fully charged; with a bilge pump in continuous operation, even a fully charged battery will only last a few days.
If your boat is damaged – what to do next?
An important point to note if your boat is caught in a dangerous or potentially damaging situation, don’t attempt to recover it yourself without assistance. Severe weather conditions greatly increase the risk to boat owners, and simple tasks can easily result in unexpected accidents and injury. Always put your safety first. That is another reason why ensuring your winter maintenance is done is even more important – the best action is prevention, to avoid any disasters occurring.
If you have any concerns about what you should be doing with your boat and how boat insurance can help protect you, why not get in touch with our team of experts and we would be happy to help you.