Winterizing Your Boat: A Checklist (from Chris Birch)

Here is the awesome checklist put together by Chris Birch (and reposted with his permission).  To all those of you whose season is coming to a close, I hope you had an awesome season.  Hope that this checklist really comes in handy.  Chris is one of the top marine technicians – so if you’re in Boston, MA, contact him if he can help. Otherwise, his contribution is incredibly nice of him.

Winter work order:  De-commissioning from Chris Birch / Birch Marine

To Do       Project

Phase 1 – near the end of the boating season:
∆                Fall varnish
∆                Clean & wax topsides from waterline to the rail
∆                Clean & wax deck, cockpit & house
∆                Interior cleaning including storage lockers and contents there of
∆                Bilge cleaning

Phase 2 – Just prior to haul out:
∆                Fuel:  fill tank(s)
∆                Add fuel stabilizer and biocide to fuel tank(s)
∆                Canvas: remove, send out for service & storage
∆                   Sails:  remove, send out for washing, minor repair & storage
∆                Main engine(s):  winterize
(Change engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter(s), & engine zinc. Flush, fog & seal)
∆                Generator:  winterize
(Change engine oil, oil filter, fuel filter(s), & engine zinc. Flush, fog & seal)
∆                Batteries:  clean, service, charge, hydrometer test
∆                Head(s): winterize toilet, macerator pump and holding tank.
∆                Fresh water sys.:  winterize tanks, water heater, taps, showers & shower sumps
∆                Ice maker: winterize
∆                Bilge & bilge pumps:  test & flush all electric and manual bilge pumps
∆                Air conditioning / heat: winterize
∆                Refrigeration:  winterize
∆                Water maker:  winterize
∆                Windshield spray system:  winterize
∆                Salt water wash down pump(s): winterize
∆                Winterize & stow dingy outboard engine
∆                Clean, deflate and stow inflatable dingy
∆                Full systems check

Phase 3 – After haul out (or final move to winter slip for in water storage):

∆                Shrinkwrap.   White plastic?   Or clear plastic for $100 Surcharge?   Zipper door?
(note: Sails and canvas must be removed prior to shrinkwrap)
∆                Set out dehumidifier containers
∆                Send prop(s) out for tune and service
∆                Diver to change zincs  if boat is to winter in the water
∆                Other:

Winter projects

To do       Project

∆            New electronics installation
∆            Interior varnish or painting project
∆            Exterior varnish or painting project
∆            Wiring project
∆            Rigging project
∆            Plumbing project
∆            Carpentry project
∆            Flexiteek decking project

Preventative maintenance suggestions:
∆            Replace engine control cables
∆            Replace old hoses and hose clamps
∆            Add a bilge pump and/or high water alarm
∆            Service your steering system
∆            Service your winches
∆            Service or renew your sea cocks
∆            Send prop(s) out for tune and service
∆            Renew your cutlass bearing(s)
∆            Re-bed some or all of your deck hardware & ports
∆            Cabin sole varnish
∆            Repaint your worn anchor chain markings
∆            Renew your running rigging
∆            Renew your standing rigging
∆            Renew your dock lines and /or fenders and/or fender covers
∆            Bleach clean your interior lockers and bilge spaces
∆            Renew your head(s)
∆            Upgrade or renew your DC wiring system
∆            Upgrade or renew your AC wiring system
∆            Send your engine alternator(s) and starter motor(s) out for service
∆            Clean & paint your engine
∆            Other:

FINALLY – Re-Commissioning Checklist

To do       Project

∆                Remove & recycle winter cover
∆                Bottom paint.  Interlux Micron CSC is standard choice.  Alternative paint?  Color?
∆                Zinc: install new shaft/tabs/rudder/hull/thruster zinc(s)
∆                Clean shaft(s) & prop(s) and thruster tunnel(s)
∆                Diver to clean bottom and change zincs if boat wintered in the water
∆                Clean wax topsides (waterline to the rail)
∆                Clean wax deck (from the rail up)
∆                Polish stainless
∆                Interior cleaning
∆                Bleach clean interior lockers and bilge spaces
∆                Varnish:  exterior varnish or other wood finish
∆                Tune rig
∆                Bend on sails
∆                Install dodger and / or bimini
∆                Main engine(s):  commission
∆                Generator:  commission
∆                Fresh water system:  commission
∆                Ice maker:  commission
∆                Head(s):  commission
∆                Air-conditioning / heat:  commission
∆                Refrigeration:  commission
∆                Battery:  clean, service, load test & charge
∆                Check and grease sea cocks
∆                Service stuffing boxes on shaft(s) and rudder post(s)
∆                Service winches
∆                Inflate and check and clean inflatable dingy
∆                Summerize dingy engine
∆                Full systems check
∆                Other:

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