Taking good care of your boat and protecting her from the elements can help save you time and money next season.

When you are not using your boat, we recommend carrying out the following:

  • Remove sails (click here for winter sail care advice from our onsite partner OneSails)
  • Make sure you have well-fitted covers that are properly secured
  • Check and set your thermostat to avoid frozen pipes
  • Empty water tanks
  • Remove anything that might be sensitive to damp, such as upholstery
  • If your boat is staying in the water, make sure mooring lines and fenders are secure, and add extras if needed
  • If your boat is on the hardstanding, stow any ladders after use
Above: SYH in mid-winter

When it comes to your rigging, Richard Odell from our onsite partner Evolution Rigging advises, “The most important thing is to make sure everything is stowed and secured. Halyards should be tightened to stop them flagging against the mast, which results in chafing and vibrations through the standing rigging.”

Richard continues, “A common mistake is slackening off the rig when a boat is not in use. Releasing the tension allows the rig to move around, especially if it’s windy, which causes vibrations and increases the chances of damage to standing rigging. Don’t leave your ropes on deck, anything left lying on deck will suffer from water damage. If you are removing your running rigging, don’t forget to put in a mouseline for when you re-rig in the spring.”

Oliver Ballam from Seapower Marine Electronics recommends, “A visual check of everything and to make a list of things that need repairing or replacing. You can then create a maintenance schedule to allow enough time to have everything ready for the spring.”

When packing up your boat for the winter, the team from Mr Stainless has three top tips to protect your stainless from the elements. Firstly, clean with soapy water and rinse, then apply a polish. Remove contamination from other steels and alloys, before check for defects on all stainless items and refurbish and replace where necessary.

Above: boat movements at SYH. Credit Emily Harris

If your boat is yet to come out of the water, read our winter haul out checklist below to make sure you’re ready to go:

  • Bimini, sprayhood and dodgers should be removed where possible
  • If fixed lines are to be removed, ensure shackles are easily operable
  • If tiller is removed, ensure this is easily accessible
  • If using your own support legs, ensure these are onsite the day prior to lift out
  • If parts of your own cradle are removed, these need to be onsite the day prior to lift out
  • Book well in advance to ensure availability
  • Discuss any special requirements at time of booking

Frequently asked haul out questions:

Do I need to remove my log? No, although you can if you would like to

If hauling out onto a trailer, where should this be delivered and when? If it is not already onsite, ensure it is labelled with the boat name, and that it is available from the day before lift-out. Please contact the berthing office with instructions on location

If I want to take my mast down, do I need to book this with my haul out? No, although discussing this with us at the time of booking will help ensure crane access

Can I adjust my cradle while ashore? No, under no circumstances should you adjust your cradle. Please contact a member of the team who will happily do this safely for you