Now we’re in spring, it’s time to dewinterise your boat so you’re ready to get back out on the water when the time comes.
Read on for our top tips to get your boat ready for the sailing season.
If you winterised your boat properly a few months ago, the time and work needed will hopefully be minimal, and you’ll be back out there enjoying life afloat in no time.
Set aside time in your diary
Don’t leave all these important checks and tasks to the very day you want to set sail!
This is essential work that will save you time and money in the long term, so be sure to set aside a weekend or two to ensure you have the time to do everything properly to protect and care for your investment.
Remove the boat covers & clean
A covered or wrapped boat will hopefully be protected from any mice or birds setting up home, but it’s always good to thoroughly check.
Once the covers are off, it’s time to really dig in with a good deep clean of all surfaces, canvas and carpeting.
Important checks and tests
Your boat needs to be checked all over for damage and erosion over winter, this includes (but is not limited to)...
Your propeller and engine - you’ll need an oil change and the necessary additives if you’re changing the filter. Also check your belts to ensure they haven’t lost their slack over the last few months.
Steering - check the cables. It’s not uncommon for the steering to be a little stiff to start off after winter, but you may have a blockage in your steering tube, so you may need to invest in specific brushes to tackle this.
Cooling system - refill the system if you flushed it out before winter; alternatively now’s the time to flush and drain the cooling system, ready for an antifreeze replacement. Check your hoses and connect your spark plugs.
Replace the battery & attach electronics
If you haven’t had the battery on a trickle charger over winter, make sure your battery is fully charged (it may need a day or two).
Once that’s sorted, you can connect and test all your electronics, including navigation and lights so you won’t be caught out when you’re out on the water.
Beyond the boat
Don’t forget all your other sailing items, including checking your trailer, lifejackets, stocking up first aid kits etc… so you can be confident that everything is ship shape when you’re ready to go.
Once all your pre-launch checks and tests are complete, it’s time to start enjoying your time on the water with the peace of mind that everything is safe and fit for purpose.
If you need any assistance getting your boat ready, or are looking for replacement parts, don’t forget that the Boat Central search facility is a great way to compare options so you can make an informed choice.