Winterizing Your Sailboat

If your boat is like the Christopher-Jin then she has to be putup for the winter soon.  On this page you will find some hints and suggestions to get ready for winter and make bringing her out in the spring easier.
At the bottom of this page there is a printable checklist.
Your Sailboat
1.  If you have used your galley make sure to empty the water completely and blow the plumbing.
2.  Remove your batteries and store them someplace out of the harsh weather and put, at the very least, a battery maintainer on all batteries.
3.  After lowering the mast be sure to carefully dress all the steel cables so they don't get kinked during storage.
4.  Remove any breakable or bendable objects from the mast before having it shrink wrapped.
5.  Power wash the hull and rudder as soon as you remove your boat from the water.  Make yourself a note of how much bottom paint your are going to need for the spring as well as the general condition of the hull and rudder.  Inspect and make note of any damage to the hull and rudder.
6.  Inspect all thru-hull fittings.  Check and make notes for need of re-gasketing, re-bedding or damage.
7.  Check the rudder grungons, outboard motor mount attachment and motor lock attachments.
8.  Give all teak one last cleaning and coating of teak oil.
9.  Remove all electronics equipment and tools that could be stolen.
10.  Remove and completely empty the head of storage and waste water.
11.  Stack all cushions in the v-birth and open all compartments.  Inspect and make notes of any standing water, cracks or damage.
Leave these compartments open for the winter.
12.  Use a meldew remover to clean all closed compartments and follow up with a coat of meldew preventer.  These are inexpensive products and they work.  Don't forget to inspect and treat all hatches.  Meldew tends to grow under the cockpit hatches and foredeck hatch.
13.  This is a good time to give your boat a good going over and take notes on items that will need attention.  I am stressing the note taking because I know from experience that those "obvious" things that you think you will remember...there's a good chance you will not.  So write everything down in a special notebook.  I then remove any items that I want to work on over the winter and take it back to my shop.
14.  Have your sailboat shrink wrapped for the winter.  It's not that expensive for a Catalina 22.  I've tried tarps.  They wear through.  I've built tarp frames.  The tarps still wear through.  Your are constantly battling water and ice pockets and chaffing on the stantions.
Shrink wraping the Christopher-Jin cost about $100 which is about twice the price of a good tarp.  Give yourself and your boat and have her shrink wrapped.
Your Trailer
15.  Begin by checking your tire pressure.  Don't forget the spare.
16.  Check the general condition of all tires including the spare.
17.  Have a trailer shop check the condition of the breaks and break fluid.  Have them give the trailer a once over.  A stitch in time saves nine.
18.  Check the condition of the wench and wench strap or rope.
19.  Don't forget to bring the hold-down strap and trailer jack incase of a flat.
Your Motor
20.  I always disconnect the gas line and run out any remaining fuel before pulling the Christopher-Jin from the water.
21.  Add stabilizer to any gas you are going to store over the winter.
22.  Pull and inspect and replace, if necessary, all spark plugs.
23.  Shoot a storage fogger spray into each cylinder before re-installing the plugs.  Follow the directions on the can.
24.  Inspect and replace any worn galvonic electrodes.
25.  Drain and replace the transmission fluid.  If you are going to wait until spring make a note of it in your notebook.
Take Care of Yourself Too
26.  Have a good cry.  Winter is on it's way.  But take heart in 5 months or less you'll be sailing the high seas again!!!
27.  Include in your notes any items for your boat that you would like to add.  These would be great Christmas gifts from your family!!!
28.  Don't forget to keep an eye on your sailboat over the winter.  Inspect her regularly for signs of water leakage of the covering and for anything being amiss.
Right Click the Checklist Below & Choose "Print Picture"