Boat storage - long term impact? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 03-31-2007
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Boat storage - long term impact?



Because I now work in Georgetown, Guyana (for a few years) I had to put Waymar in storage . This was end of September 2005.

I winterised the boat. She is sitting in her cradle. The mast (and rigging) is also on a separate rack...in the boat yard.

I also took everything off the boat. (during a normal winter on Lake Ontario I would leave much of the stuff on the boat. However, knowing she would spend summer (read hot and humid) in the hard, I pulled almost everything removeable off and put it in controlled temp and humidity storage.

I have not been back to Kingston (Lake Ontario) since.

In the meantime, I'm reading these posts and threads, learning and dreaming....

Here are my questions and worries:

1) I know a stored boat is a neglected boat. Some things will deteriorate faster than if it had been sailed every summer. Other than the batteries (which will have to be changed) and the flares (probably expired), what else does that include?

2) If I go back this summer for a day or two (to Kingston). Are there things worth doing/ inspecting?


3) What should I be concerned about. Is there some kind of maintenance that I should be doing (what about the Yanmar engine???)

4) The yard looks in on her. Making sure she remains dry inside etc (no leaks, no squatters...) but that is about it.
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Old 03-31-2007
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I just read Patrick's thread on Diesel Engine maintenance. I'm printing the advice and getting Niger Calder's book. I think I'll be OK on the engine issues...
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Old 03-31-2007
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The batteries can be maintained using a small solar panel and a charge controller...

Most things on a stored boat won't deteriorate any faster than if the boat had been sailed, but it is far less likely that you'll catch them as quickly, since you're not on the boat.

If you're going down to the area the boat is in... go visit it.. work the seacock valves, which should be exercised about once a month or so. Give the boat a quick look over to see if anything is looking like it needs repair or replacement.

Run some water through the head, to help prevent the seals and such from drying out. Same with the manually pumped sink faucets, if you have any.

A pair of good solar powered vents will go a long way to keeping the boat smelling fresh and from smelling badly.

Check any varnished woodwork that may need touching up as the varnish breaks down under UV...
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Old 04-01-2007
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Thanks Sailingdog! I really appreciate it.

The batteries were due for changing anyway...so no great loss.

I don't have solar powered vents. I'll put some in.

Working the seacocks, head and faucet area good idea. They were working perfectly. To winterise I pumped through "plumbing antifreeze" throughout. (head and all faucets, as well as through the bilge pump and engine cooling system).

I applied lemon oil on most of the interior woodwork. The interior should smell clean and fresh!

She was in such good shape when I winterised!
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Old 04-01-2007
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I think what you are going to be fighting is mold/mildew. If possible, I would button the boat up with a dehumidfier inside of it, rigging a hose to it for drainage. If this is possible, remove the batteries as the dehumidifier will dry them out as well, thereby ruining them. They belong elsewhere on a float charger. The dehumidification will do nothing but good for your engine as well, although you may wish to fog it, and give your diesel fuel to someone who can use it. You may try treating the fuel, to greater or lesser success, with a biocide.
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Thanks Sailaway.

Unfortunately I cannot "plug" anything in for extended periods at the marina. Only when I'm there. But getting solar-powered air circulation seems like a good idea...

I topped up the fuel when winterising..., I'm assuming that I will not be able to use the diesel once the boat goes back in and will have to drain the diesel fuel tank (any thoughts?). (What does" polishing diesel" mean...I've seen that mentioned a few times). I'll look into the additives/treatments for storage of diesel.

But you are right, winter is only harmful if you have water stuck somewhere. A hot and humid Canadian summer can be worse, which is why we pulled almost everything that was not fiberglassed, glued, screwed etc off the boat and sitting in a separate (temperature and humidity controlled) storage.(It's actually amazing how much useless stuff a boat can hold!

I also have a copy of an issue of Sail magazine on Spring Commissioning from about 5-6 years ago ....I still remember one recommendation that I have implemented is the application of lemon oil!. It takes care of the mold and mildew and is good for wood as well as almost everything in the head.

If I'd had the skill, time and money I would have brought her down to Guyana! From my house I can see the Atlantic! There are rivers to sail up into. One in particular, the Essequibo looks just like the St-Lawrence and the Thousand Islands (well...close anyway). It was recently charted quite a ways up. It's also only a few days out of Trinidad or in the other direction sail down the Coast of Brazil...I'm going through withdrawal......
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Old 04-01-2007
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Vinegar will also prevent the growth of mold. One thing you might want to look at a new product that is on the market. It is a spray that is specifically designed to prevent mold/mildew growth and is supposed to be quite good. It was recently written up in at least two sailing magazines.

The fuel should be usable, provided you've added a good stabilizer to it. Fuel polishing is a way of treating diesel fuel, by circulating it through a series of filters, to remove debris, sediment, water, algae, etc.. It is a pretty good idea to polish your fuel if you've left the boat sitting for a long time.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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I left my sails in my j/24 over the winter, and now they are discolored - like a gray spotting. I'm not really a racer - still learning, so I'm not likely to replace them. Is there anything I can do to improve their appearance?

Btw, sailnet is a great read when you can't be on the water...
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Dog,

Thanks. regarding vinegar you are right it works very well (my wife uses it in the house as well). It's also dirt cheap! but I've used lemon oil on the boat. The smell it leaves behind is...Its the "right" smell for inside the boat. I'll look for this spray product as it may have a wider range of uses. The lemon oil I have comes in little bottles and of course is a little oily, and so the applications are limited.

Pluscard; I've had some spotting on the sails as well (we bought the boat with the spotty sails). It has been recommended to me not to try and wash the sails....almost anything you try will weaken the sail. I know it does'nt look good but I think you may have to live with it...

You are right about sailnet. I read a heck of a lot and learn from the wealth of experience from the group. For me it's also a lifeline and keeps me going till I get my boat back in the water.
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Old 04-01-2007
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You were most likely advised by the boat yard to remove the batteries, although I did not read where you mentioned this. If they are still onboard, subjected to very low Canadian winter temps, your boat may be at risk of damage.

An uncharged battery's electrolyte is more susceptable to freezing than one fully charged. The expanding fluid could crack the casing, leaking corrosive acid into the bilge.
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