Whether you bring your boat ashore for the winter, or you decide to leave her afloat, there are a number of steps to take to ensure your boat stays in tiptop condition.
We've compiled advice from our experienced Haven Team to bring you our TOP FIVE TIPS for the winter.
Winter Tips For Your Boat
#1 One line, one job
Try to avoid the "running W" mooring line (one long line starting at the bow cleat on the finger, to the boat, back to the middle cleat, to the midships cleat on the boat, then to the aft cleat, then finally back to the boat). The "running W" makes it very difficult to adjust lines in a gale. Use separate lines for bow and stern, two long spring lines and, if it makes you rest easier, double-up where you feel necessary. We check boats several times a day during the winter so having your lines like this will allow our Haven Team to make adjustments.
If you've got them, use them! We often see boats without enough fenders, but lots in baskets or lockers because the owner thinks they are the wrong size. This may be the case, but it is still more beneficial to use them especially if you’re leaving your boat for a longer period over the winter.
The dreaded diesel bug, a microbial bacteria that forms in the air pockets in your tank, can lead to clogged filters, corrosion, engine damage and an unwanted repair bill. The most common option to prevent diesel bacteria is to fill the tank to the brim in an effort to ensure no air pockets are left in the tank. Keep in mind that in the winter the heater will burn this fuel, which means that in the coldest months, when diesel bacteria can manifest, your tank may not be full.
#4 Avoid short lines
It's best to avoid short, tight lines from midships to the centre finger cleat. The line will exert a strong snatch pulling force. If you have a midships line, ensure it is long enough to stretch to absorb the load.
#5 Line quality
Before you leave your boat for the winter, check the quality of your moorings lines. Damaged lines will break under heavy loads which will put additional stress on all your good lines. If your line is damaged, the affected part of the rope can be cut out, leaving you with a useable length of rope.
#6 (Bonus tip) Book early
Be sure to book your boat winter maintenance marine services as early as possible, as the best service providers will be fully booked for the winter period well in advance! You'll find a range of services ready to look after you and your boat in our Marina Directory.