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  #1  
Old 09-28-2008
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Puzzled by winter storage options

Wondering if you guys can share some knowledge...
I need to submit my request for fall service/winter storage to the yacht yard and am not real sure what is necessary, a luxury, or a ripoff. Help please?

1. Oil change/engine winterization...my mechanic will change the oil for cheap
before I sail back to the yachtyard. They charge $160 to winterize.

2. Battery storage....do you remove from your boat? They want $45/ea to
store and load test.

3. Winterize head/holding tank....they charge $30 & up. I think I can do this.

4. Shrink wrap...they charge $620 (which I think is ridiculous)...should I just
tarp like crazy? What supplies do I need to do this?

5. Winch maintenance? Steering system tune-up? Outdrive service?

Thanks a million for any advice...my first time doing this is overwhelming!
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Old 09-28-2008
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You can pretty much do everything yourself. When I lived in northern Indiana, I used shrinkwrap and tarps. I found no real advantage in the shrinkwrap, considering the cost. The main thing is framing the tarp so it doesn't sag.

Though there is plenty of advice to be found here on maintenance issues, if you don't have it already you might want to get a copy of Nigel Calders Boatowners Mechanical and Electical Manual.
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Old 09-28-2008
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I agree, most of the stuff you can do yourself. Personally I'd let someone else deal with the engine, but the water system, batteries, rigging and cover I do myself. (well, not the water system as my boat doesn't have one). I made a frame out of PVC that fits over the stanchions and use tarps, the tarps last about 2 years before they need to be replaced.
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Old 09-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SailChick20 View Post
Wondering if you guys can share some knowledge...
I need to submit my request for fall service/winter storage to the yacht yard and am not real sure what is necessary, a luxury, or a ripoff. Help please?

1. Oil change/engine winterization...my mechanic will change the oil for cheap before I sail back to the yachtyard. They charge $160 to winterize.
Always a good idea to change the oil before winter. Don't want the nasty oil sitting in the engine over the winter. Also, need to fog the engine before leaving the boat for the winter.
Quote:
2. Battery storage....do you remove from your boat? They want $45/ea to store and load test.
It depends, if the batteries are AGMs, they should be fine if they're fully charged and disconnected for the winter. Wet Cells require period charging, due to the relatively high self-discharge rate, and should either be hooked up to a charger periodically on the boat or taken home and have them charged about once a week or so.
Quote:
3. Winterize head/holding tank....they charge $30 & up. I think I can do this.
This just requires you to buy and use non-toxic antifreeze. Don't forget to do your fresh water tank system as well. Drain all the fresh water from the system and then fill the system with a few gallons of non-toxic anti-freeze and pump it through to all the faucets.

Quote:
4. Shrink wrap...they charge $620 (which I think is ridiculous)...should I just tarp like crazy? What supplies do I need to do this?
As PBZ said, make sure the tarp is well supported so it sheds snow, and you'll need to check on it periodically during the winter. Also, make sure the tarp is tightly fastened so the wind can't get underneath it and destroy it. BTW, don't use the grommets on a tarp. I have yet to see grommets on a tarp that can stand the tension and wind that a boat covering has to withstand. The grommets are almost always going to tear out. Use tarp clips instead. They look like this one, which you can get here:



About $1.30 each if you buy 10 or more. Fold the edges of the tarp over and put a piece of 1/8" cord in the fold and then attach the tarp to the folded section.
Quote:
5. Winch maintenance? Steering system tune-up? Outdrive service?
Winch maintenance is an easy thing, but I would do that as part of the spring commissioning. Use a box with a hole the size of the winch cut in the bottom to help prevent the small parts from escaping.

Sailboats don't have Outdrives... as they're only found on power boats. They have saildrives or outboards.
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Thanks a million for any advice...my first time doing this is overwhelming!
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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-28-2008 at 04:49 PM.
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How do you "Fog" an inboard engine? I thought this was for outboards only? No?
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No, you can fog diesels...but you have to keep the decompression levers open, or it will run on the fogging oil.
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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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Fogging, if done properly, is advisable for any gas engine and won't hurt a diesel. The problem is some folks overdo it thinking more is better and the opposite is true. Diesels can't differentiate between fogging oil and fuel which means your fogging oil will be combusted leaving you with a feeling you accomplished something when in fact nothing advantageous results from fogging a diesel. Trying to do it manually is futile unless you can somehow ensure you oil each cylinder.

Re: battery storage - wet cells won't discharge so you don't have to charge them "once a week". Perhaps monthly might be more accurate and most of us check our boats at least that often so no problem. Also, it probably isn't worth the price of AGMs unless you already have a charging system which can take advantage of their charging scheme.

Winterizing the water system - there is already lots of info available on the internet I won't reiterate but to say if you are putting antifreeze in your tanks, you're just wasting it. Empty the tanks by pumping and simply introduce antifreeze at a convenient point in the system to the faucets.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k1vsk View Post
Re: battery storage - wet cells won't discharge so you don't have to charge them "once a week". Perhaps monthly might be more accurate and most of us check our boats at least that often so no problem. Also, it probably isn't worth the price of AGMs unless you already have a charging system which can take advantage of their charging scheme.
Hate to break it to you, but a wet cell battery does self-discharge. Otherwise, why would Don Casey say in his book Sailboat Electrics Simplified:

Quote:
...an idle wet cell will lose as much as 1 percent per day...This means even a fully charged wet cell will be 30-percent discharged if idle for a summer month. A battery in this state--idle and discharged--will lose capacity to sulfation.
Granted, it is somewhat temperature dependent, and colder temps will reduce the rate a bit...but over the course of a month, it would probably be still 15-20% self-discharge... so monthly charging really isn't optimal.

Quote:
Winterizing the water system - there is already lots of info available on the internet I won't reiterate but to say if you are putting antifreeze in your tanks, you're just wasting it. Empty the tanks by pumping and simply introduce antifreeze at a convenient point in the system to the faucets.
On most boats, there isn't a convenient point to introduce antifreeze to the faucets or pumps... and filling the water tank with a couple of gallons of anti-freeze will generally do a good job of it. I'm not suggesting that you fill the water tanks with antifreeze... that is both stupid and expensive.
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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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Old 09-28-2008
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Check boatyard rules

Some yards -- mine included -- allow custom covers (and of course shrinkwrap) but prohibit tarps, saying that in a windstorm they too often become dislodged, think that they are really spinnakers, and create havoc.

Last edited by jjablonowski; 09-28-2008 at 04:55 PM.
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Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Hate to break it to you, but a wet cell battery does self-discharge.

Your misplaced sarcastic comment is totally inappropriate, again.

What I said is that recharging isn't A WEEKLY EVENT AS YOU IMPLIED but can be done monthly to compensate for the residual discharge rate. If you want to take exception to something you disagree with, that's fine but please don't distort what I said and then disagree with it.

feel free to get in your last word again...
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