36 Degrees Guide To Caring For Your Boat In The Off-Season

1 July 2022 | 36 Degrees News

Winter maintenance on your cherished vessel doesn’t have to be a chore.  As 36 Degrees Brokers services manager Blair McNaughton points out, it’s often just a case of simply checking on your boat regularly to keep on top of the little jobs.

But for many, this is easier said than done. That’s why we’re embarking on a journey to shed some light on ways to keep your boat in the best possible shape for next summer.

From antifouling to stainless care, and electrical systems to bright work. There’s plenty to keep in mind when tucking your boat away for winter. Perhaps not the most glamorous side of boating, but part and parcel of the boat ownership package nonetheless.

Our ‘Top Tips from 36 Degrees Services’ series aims to trigger those reminders for regular check-ups, as well as expanding your awareness of some of the more complex areas on your vessel.

At 36 Degrees Brokers, we’re here to help keep you on the water and enjoying your boating experience. Whether you’re needing help with the bigger jobs, or simple advice on the day-to-day tasks; our experienced services team is here for you.

We hope you enjoy. 

1. Sales Dock

The GOLDEN RULE: Regular Boat Checks

When memories of summer cruising are still etched in your mind, boat maintenance can slip off the radar. If you’ve docked the boat securely, washed her down and locked up, it’s tempting to leave the jobs list until you’re ready to use the boat again. Unfortunately, those regular weekends away tend to become less frequent as the water temperatures take a dive. 

So it’s pretty simple; keep visiting your boat, regardless of whether you’ve got a trip planned or not. Blair suggests weekly check-ups on your boat, whether it be on a mooring or marina. Fortnightly at the least. Often it’s just spending 20 minutes running through the obvious areas on your boat. 

-       Start with the simple stuff - “Check your dock lines and your covers. This might sound really basic, but it’s amazing how many covers you’ll see flapping around in the breeze if people aren’t checking on their boats ” he notes.

-       Seacocks can be checked, whether you like to leave them open or closed it is important to open and close them a couple of times at least once a month to prevent any fouls etc.

-       Water in the boat can often lead to musty smells and mould growing, so Blair recommends ensuring the black tanks are empty of the bad stuff and even regularly checking the bilges, running the taps and showers and flushing cleaner/treatment down the heads to stop odours from the black tank. “Open it up and get the airflow going. Dehumidifiers where possible are very helpful. You can also leave all the mattresses and squabs standing upright and get your dehumidifier going. You’d be surprised at the amount of water a mattress can hold.”

 -       On the electronic electrical front, he says it’s a good idea to make sure your shore power is on and batteries are charging, check battery fluids if required and run up all your systems regularly.  Start up the engine and generator as part of your regular checks.

-       It’s Also important to keep up regular washdowns through the winter months to keep the mould and grim at bay on you canvas gelcoat and paint work .

 We're Here To Help!

If you’re heading away for an extended period of time and are unable to get to your boat, please feel free to get in touch with the team and talk through ways we can help with your regular checks. 

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After all, if you’re keeping on top of the little jobs, it keeps you in tune with your boat as well as giving it the best chance to shine next season.

36 Degrees