Winter Preparations for Your Vessel

Classic postcard view of famous Hallstatt lakeside town in the Alps with traditional passenger ship on beautiful Hallstattersee in mystical twilight during blue hour in winter, Salzkammergut, Austria

Winter conditions bring their own set of unique challenges to maintaining ships. Numbed hands in freezing conditions makes cleaning your ship hard enough – you want to be sure that the equipment that you are relying on is trustworthy and sturdy enough.

You can trust us to supply you with efficient marine supplies, read on to discover our tips for a winter-ready ship.

View from the Gudvanjen-Flam fjord cruise in Norway, clicked from Gudvanjen

Great Autumn Cleaning

We have all heard of spring cleaning, but a thorough autumn clear out can be just as useful for ensuring that your winter environment is tidy and happy.

For food, you should double check that all supplies are in date and safe for consumption, replacing anything that has gone bad. It also makes sense to note which supplies haven’t been used, as it may be that you should be buying less.

 

Autumn DIY and Small Fixes

Summer is perhaps the best time to engage in fixes and repairs as the days are longer, and paint dries quicker in the heat. On the other hand, summer is also the season when boatowners are most likely to want to be able to enjoy their vessel – not tampering with it or leaving it in the yard.

As a result, it makes sense to get your boat fixed up after your summer expeditions, just as the temperatures are starting to decline again.

Polar Scientist in Warm Jacket Standing on Ship and Using Radio for Communication. Polar Research Exploration.

Prep for Hibernating Boats

If you won’t be using your boat over winter, then there are some precautions that you should take. The first of these is to ensure that your deck gets a thorough cleaning before it goes into storage – this is done partly so that it is beautiful and pristine when you return to your boat in the spring, but also to reduce the onset of rot and mould during winter’s wet climates.

If you usually keep items on the deck, these should be stored to keep them dry. Similarly, if any of these items, such as deck chairs, use covers to protect them during their storage, these might need washing and/or drying. Remember to avoid storing wet items if possible, as it could increase the humidity and dampness on your ship, which will encourage mould and rot.

You should also replace any old oil or lubricants used by your ship to further prevent the onset of rust whilst you aren’t watching.

Fresh water tanks should also be drained to avoid bacteria, contamination, and an extra cleaning job for the spring of the following year. Non-toxic anti-freeze may also be applied to prevent any remaining drips or condensation from forming and freezing during the winter – which could lead to a broken tank if improperly planned for.

The final addition to preparing your ship for its winter stand-by is to specially treat its air to minimise the formation of mould and mildew.

If mould and mildew onboard are a cause of concern for you, or if they have affected your ships in the past, it might be prudent for you to schedule a check-up with your boat so that you can complete your winter without worry, knowing that you will have an opportunity to schedule a cleaning crew to deal with any developing mould following your check-up.

 

Security Systems

Once your ship is thoroughly cleaned, you should ensure that the security is up to date and working. Replace batteries, back-ups, GPS tracking systems and locks on where you consider the most important storage rooms on your boat or ship.

 

Preparing for Navigating in Cold Weather

If you are going to be taking your ship out during the winter, then you need to be sure that there is adequate heating and clothing available for you and any staff using your boat. Particularly though, you should confirm that the following are available on board and work to your satisfaction:

  • De-icer or anti-freeze solutions
  • Defogging machines
  • Continuous radar scanners

Laws and regulations change depending on the nature and use of the ship in question. Always check with your suppliers and local authorities.

Classic postcard view of famous Hallstatt lakeside town in the Alps with traditional passenger ship on beautiful Hallstattersee in mystical twilight during blue hour in winter, Salzkammergut, Austria

If you are overseeing the winter preparations for vessels this year, ensure that you are using high-quality, non-toxic and marine-friendly cleaning solutions, such as those stocked by our business. We offer a large range of items which you can see in our store, or read about on our blog: What Are the Best Boat Cleaning Products to Clean Specific Areas of Your Boat?