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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > Puzzled by winter storage options
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Thread: Puzzled by winter storage options Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
09-29-2008 12:00 AM
SelkirkGrace
batteries and tarps

When I store my boat I NEVER use shrink wrap. Up here in the cold of North Idaho, I found that plastic keeps water vapor in. If you can arrange for flow through ventilation, that is best. You can use a low energy muffin fan and a 4" plastic exhaust tube to draw moisture out of the boat. This works best in COLD, but not high humidity (wet) environments. Tarps fastened as SD recommended work well. I have never had any water issues.

On charging, I agree with K1. I just put a trickle charger in the boat and check it monthly to make sure it is still plugged in and running. MAKE SURE you take the cables OFF and do not just switch to the OFF battery setting. On my boat at least, that still leaves things connected and will cause increased battery drain.
09-28-2008 11:26 PM
captbillc
fresh water system antifreeze

i use the fresh water pump to pump the tanks dry. next i remove the fresh water hoses from the water heater. to get the water heater to drain i have to put a screwdriver in the bottom heater connection to open the check valve. next i use a copper tube to connect the two hoses. this way i don't have to waste antifreeze filling the water heater. i then remove the intake hose from the fresh water pump and connect a 4ft hose to it. i put the hose in the jug of pink RV antifreeze, turn on the pump and run it till i have antifreeze coming out of all the faucets. in the spring all you have to do is connect the water pump intake hose, fill the tanks and run the pump till clear water comes out all faucets. then remove the copper tube and reconnect the hoses to the water heater. i use 3 gal of antifreeze because i pump it through the head also ( through a hose connected to the sea water intake on the head pump )
09-28-2008 09:59 PM
sailingdog Tough to get all the water out of the system without disconnecting a lot of the hoses... so using antifreeze is often more sure and less hassle.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RXBOT View Post
Why can't you make an adapter and simply purge all water out of tanks and lines using compressed air, then you don't have to introduce any antifreeze into your water system.
09-28-2008 09:55 PM
cruisingdream Shrink wrap it the first year . carefully cut it off in the spring & make a pattern & spend next yerars shrink wrap money to to build a nice canvas tarp. Materials available at Marine Fabrics, Sailcloth, Sail Kits, Canvas and Sail Hardware for Do-It-Yourself
09-28-2008 09:48 PM
SailChick20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pegasus1457 View Post
I am not sure whether a 10 minute run to the yard will do any damage.

Are you storing the mast on the boat?

Winch maintenance is an easy spring job. You can service 7 winches in about an hour once you know how to do it.
My trip to the yard could be a 3 hour sail...maybe 30-45 minutes of running the engine. So...in that case, should I just have the oil changed at the yard instead of before this trip? Does it matter?

Mast will be up all winter...which would make my tarping job harder. Am seriously considering the shrinkwrap.

I think I will read up on winch servicing and see if I'm up to the task in the Spring.
09-28-2008 09:31 PM
pegasus1457
Quote:
Originally Posted by SailChick20 View Post
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.
I paid a mechanic to change my oil the first winter and watched what he did so that I could do it myself the next time. It is not rocket science.
You will need to buy a hand pump to suck the old oil out. A good one costs about $30.

You will also need to top up the transmission fluid and remember to suck out the excess in the spring.

I believe you want to change your oil on a warm engine and then not run it again on the new oil before laying it up. I understand that the combustion products from running the engine create corrosive chemicals in the oil, which can damage the engine if it sits idle for a while.

I am not sure whether a 10 minute run to the yard will do any damage. Others will certainly correct me

Quote:
2. Battery storage....do you remove from your boat? They want $45/ea to
store and load test.
A seriously discharged wet cell is likely to freeze and be destroyed by a severe Chicago winter.
If you have wet cells the best solution would be to keep a smart charger plugged in all winter (if the yard allows this -- mine doesn't). You can also take the batteries home, as I do, and keep one plugged into a smart charger and alternate batteries at the first of each month. I store them in my garage which never gets below freezing.
Quote:
3. Winterize head/holding tank....they charge $30 & up. I think I can do this.
When you have your head pumped for the last time before hauling, make sure you flood it with fresh water from the shower head while it is being pumped, until the effluent runs clear. That is a great way to keep your boat from developing unpleasant odors over the winter.
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?
Finding a tarp solution that works for your boat can be a challenge. It took
me several winters before I evolved a scheme that worked.

Are you storing the mast on the boat? Up? Or lying across the coach house? The horizontal mast can act as the ridgepole for a tarp and make the whole business easier, but it is a pain to get around on the boat over the winter if you need to.


Quote:
5. Winch maintenance? Steering system tune-up? Outdrive service?
Winch maintenance is an easy spring job. You should learn to do it yourself. You can service 7 winches in about an hour once you know how to do it.
09-28-2008 09:21 PM
RXBOT
Water system

Why can't you make an adapter and simply purge all water out of tanks and lines using compressed air, then you don't have to introduce any antifreeze into your water system.
09-28-2008 09:19 PM
cruisingdream Don't forget the bilge. some boats leak a little here & there & it all makes it s way to the bilge . A little non-toxic antifreez in the bilge and disconnect the fuse to the automatic portion if the bilge pump because if it freezes & the pump trys to run it will drain the batterys and/or blow the fuse or ruin the pump.
09-28-2008 09:00 PM
SailChick20
Quote:
Originally Posted by otaga05 View Post
This may sound obvious, but don't forget to open your seacocks once the boat is on the hard.
Thanks for the reminder! I believe I also have to do something with the speed & depth readers underneath.

Great info...thanks everyone!
09-28-2008 08:51 PM
philsboat I put 6 or 7 2x6's over my cockpit from the pushpit to the cabin top,tie them on with 1/2' line to the pushpit and wrap the cabin top end with the line so they aren't sitting on the fiberglass then tie them off to winches etc.Then I take off the lifeline stanchions and run a long 4x4 from the bow pulpit to the mast step and tie it into place with appropriate padding.Now it is ready for a tarp about 10" longer than the boat and wide enough to go to the waterline.I stitch a light line through the holes in the tarp from side to side and finish it with an old anchor rode wrapped around the boat from stem to stern.Leave ventillation openings bow and stern and you are done.
This methdod dicourages vandals as it's really hard to get into the cabin.For extra security make a plywood panel the same shape as the companionway bulkhead and tie the 2x6's to it.Now it's freakin impossible for any one to get in.Even you,so don't plan on getting back on the boat till spring.Easy on tarps to cause they can't flog in the wind. Mine is 5 yrs.old with little wear.
Phil
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