By Rex Allen Holden
With the end of another boating season fast approaching, it will again be time to haul and winterize my sailboat.
Every year, I have trouble remembering where I put stuff the season before. I still cannot find the repair kit for the inflatable dingy.
This year, I’m making a plan and writing down where I put everything. I’ve included the following on my winterizing to do list:
- While boating, make a list of future repairs or problems to tackle in the off-season.
- When unpacking the boat, make a list of what goes home and what stays on board.
- Remove all food and anything that could freeze or attract critters.
- Clean the boat, and give the cabin a good front-to-back scrubbing.
- Check the bilge.
- Air out the boat, and use moisture and odor absorbers.
- Check and clean anchors, chains, lines and hardware.
- Check the boom for bird nests.
- Clean and check canvas, zippers, sails and lines.
- Check the engine, and winterize following manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Remove old gas from small outboards. Ethanol can cause major problems if it sits too long.
- Check the head.
- Winterize and pump out holding tanks.
- Check and winterize your water tank. I like to blow out my water lines because I have a terrible time getting antifreeze out of my water system in the spring.
- After hauling, I take my batteries home and charge them. Then, I shrink wrap my boat, which saves me a lot of clean up in the spring.
It’s difficult to remember everything, but if you start with a list and update it each year, you will be ahead of the game when it comes time to fit out next spring.