A safety kit – Should be removed from the boat. If you cannot fill your house, shed or garage with the kit then put the kit inside the boat. That way it is kept safe, clean and dry. This is also a good opportunity to send the kit for service, so they arrive in good time for the next season. You can always plan your servicing so not all the costs come in at once. Lifejackets one month, liferaft the next month and so on. Jack lines should also be removed from the deck. These are often forgotten and with the weather, they degrade. They also get a lot of grit and dirt in them that can stain the decks.
Flares – Need to be checked for being in date and if you need to buy any new ones now is the time to make a note and put it in the schedule to manage the budget. Don’t forget to dispose of your old flares responsibly. For more information on disposal, see here
Ropes –The winter is time to wash your ropes. A bath with some soap and water with help remove the salt and dirt and make them remain soft and manageable. This time will also allow you to check the splices and whippings and if there is any wear and tear and chafe.
Sails – Are better off the boat over the winter to stop them getting mouldy. If there is a chance to wash them with clean water then great, if not, don’t worry. You want to remove all battens and brick the sails once dry. Again, this process will allow you to check the sails for wear and tear and any repairs that may need to be done by either yourself or the sail loft. Don’t forget to do the same with your storm sails too.
Dehumidifier – Can be used if you want to keep the boat as dry as possible over the winter. However, do not forget to empty it periodically.
Fuel – Make sure fuel tanks are full to avoid any condensation getting in the tanks with the changes in temperature and risking getting water in the fuel.
Antifreeze – Check the engine oil levels and antifreeze levels. Also, this is a perfect time to clean filters and change fan belts to make sure the engine is good to go come spring. Winter is the time for jobs to make sure you can get enjoyment in the good weather.
Bilges – Make sure the bilges are clean and dry. This way you can tell immediately if there are any issues and leaks at any time. This will also help avoid the boat from smelling and feeling damp.
If possible, take the boat out of the water. This allows checks to anodes, props and shafts to be made as well as making sure the hull is clean too, ahead of your spring antifoul!