Regular boat maintenance during the prime sailing months is important to ensure you stay afloat on the water, but winterizing your vessel in preparation for the end of the sailing season has its own set of crucial steps. You guessed it: there are a number of things you need to do to your yacht before parking it over the winter months, and we don’t mean just a quick wipe-down of algae or other debris on exterior surfaces. Moreover, if you slack on winter maintenance, or don’t prepare it at all for storage, the harder it will be to get back on the water once warmer weather returns.
With that in mind, here are some tips for wintertime yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale:
- Schedule maintenance time: Getting your boat all cleaned up and looked over for winter storage can take less or more time than you think. Play it safe and allow yourself plenty of time to perform all aspects of the maintenance check while allowing room for setbacks, like needing to take it in for professional fixes. So whether you’re planning to do it on a single weekend or spread it out over a few weeks, make sure you give yourself a safe cushion of time by starting early.
- Drain plumbing fluids: Although your yacht may not encounter pipe or tank freezing during the winter, it can still sustain water damage from leaky channels. To avoid such problems when you try starting up your watercraft this spring, drain all the plumbing systems on your boat—including tanks, pipes, strainers and pumps. Empty the holding tank completely and see what you’ve got left in the fuel tanks.
- Remove all removable items: Personal things, belongings in the social and living areas and valuable items should be packed up prior to storage. Especially remove clothing, bedding, cushions, curtains and towels, since they collect moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew growth over the winter months. You also need to remove all loose electronic or battery-operated devices to ensure they don’t get damp and end up corroding. Clearing these items also allows you to clearly see the parts of your yacht that need tending to.
- Clean everything: A key part of yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale is giving your boat a good washing. Doing so removes all debris buildup around the frame that collected during the sailing season, like dirt, dust, insects and algae growth. Thoroughly wash all surfaces, windows, railings and decking, and follow that with a cleaning of your yacht’s hardware.
- Inspect for damage: Now that your boat is clean, you can better see if there is any significant damage that needs attention before winter hits, whether it’s cosmetic, mechanical or otherwise. Issues like deep cracks and large rust spots can pose a problem; if left unfixed, once-small damage can grow into expensive repairs.
From detailing and general inspections to parts checks and electrical repairs, you can trust the boat experts at Starboard Yacht Group LLC to perform all your needed yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale. Contact us for assistance this winter, or any time of the year!