Winterizing Tips from Association Members
Bernie Boykin was the motivating and organizing force behind this list of suggestions from the fleet.
SOME ONE SHOULD INSPECT YOUR BOAT AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH!
HAVE SOME ONE KEEP AN EYE ON IT & CALL YOU IF UNUSUAL EVENTS OCCUR!
* If boat is out of water, open all seacocks.
* If water tanks have bottom outlets or drains, drain water tanks to bilge & pump overboard with bilge pump. If no bottom drains, pump to galley sink & overboard via seacock. (If no bottom drain, it is hard to clean the water tanks, & water pump strainer clogs sooner. But this latter arrangement is safer when crossing oceans.)
* Cross connect water heater inlet and outlet.
* Drain water heater - be sure relief valve is open.
* Pour 2 gallons colored antifreeze into each fresh water tank or add other chemicals (your preference) to all water tanks.
* Run galley faucet until antifreeze of a sufficiently undiluted strength flows from faucet.
* Repeat above for forward head.
* Repeat for aft head.
* Remove top of seawater strainer exit from sea chest under galley OR attach funnel to water chest vent line located in wet locker.
* Close inlet through hull below inlet water strainer.
* Fill water chest with antifreeze.
* Keep water chest full of antifreeze for all the following:
* Pump antifreeze through forward head.
* Pump antifreeze through aft head.
* Pour 2 quarts of antifreeze into each empty head. Pump head until dry, then add another quart of antifreeze for good measure.
* Close through hulls to divert heads to holding tank and pump antifreeze through sewer system into holding tank.
* Reconfigure sewer to any other sanitary device such as an Electisan and pump antifreeze through unit to displace water.
* Empty holding tank or be sure sufficient antifreeze is present inside to prevent freezing.
* Cycle forward air conditioner raw water pump to move antifreeze through forward ac unit.
* Cycle aft air conditioner raw water pump to move antifreeze through aft ac unit.
* Turn refrigerator on to pump antifreeze through the refrigerator raw water system.
* (If desired, add normal automotive antifreeze to water chest at this time.
* Crank engine starter to cycle automotive antifreeze through raw water cooling system to coat system with anti-corrosives.
* Crank generator to cycle automotive antifreeze through generator raw water cooling system to coat system with anti-corrosives.
* Add non toxic antifreeze to water chest and cycle through engine cooling system.
* Start engine -- keep adding antifreeze to strainer or vent. Watch exhaust at transom. Keep running engine until colored water runs out exhaust for 2 minutes. (This is a good time to change crankcase oil, while engine is warm.)
* Repeat for generator cooling system, if present.
* Check closed engine cooling system to be sure antifreeze is at a sufficient level.
* Check closed generator cooling system to be sure antifreeze is at a sufficient level.
* Make sure bilge is pumped dry, & pour several gallons of antifreeze into it. Run bilge pumps to be sure any "pooling" in the lines (if present) are filled with antifreeze.
* Keep bilge pumped out during winter.
* Remove sails, canvas, lines.
* Secure any items left on deck.
* Seal around mast & elsewhere to keep rain & melted snow out of bilge. Cover as much of deck as possible. Make sure boat is level & deck drains clean.
* Add antifreeze to bilge
* Unscrew garboard plug - if present - to drain bilge - leave drain plug out.
* Check starboard scupper internal drain pipe and be sure it is propped up to prevent pooling of rain water in pipe.
* Check entire boat interior - galley, heads, drawers - for items that may freeze and be ruined or burst by freezing temperatures.
* Address other water-filled areas:
* aft deck lazarettes,
* deck drains,
* cockpit drains,
* sewage tanks & hoses,
* anchor wash down pump & hoses.
* Keel fuel tank needs antifreeze if it has any water in it.
* Speaking of fuel, it's a good idea to fill the fuel tanks to prevent condensation, & add Biogard or some other anti-algae agent.