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Understand everything about boat and engine winterization.

We would all like to be able to sail throughout the year, but we have to admit it the boat, it is more pleasant in summer than in winter. During these few months when your boat is alone in the harbor or in your garden it is crucial to protect him to ensure that his condition does not does not degrade and avoid any risk when the season resumes.

L’hivernage de votre bateau et de votre moteur est la solution. En effet, que votre bateau reste à flot ou qu’il soit au port à sec, des actions sont à prendre. Alors, comment bien hiverner mon bateau et mon moteur ?

When to winterize your boat ?

Boat winterization is a preventive operation against potential damage caused by sea water and weather conditions during the winter months.

For the vast majority of boaters, winterization of a boat is carried out around All Saints' Day. However, this may depend on your frequency of use, your region and the weather.

In general, it is advisable to winterize your boat and its engine after 3 consecutive months of downtime.

Table of contents

Is a boat designed to stay afloat even in winter ?

Before talking more specifically about the winterization of your boat and engine, it is important to mention the different solutions available to you for its storage during the winter months.

Dry winterization.

L’hivernage est régulièrement associé à la sortie de l’eau du bateau et à son stockage sur remorque, chez vous ou dans un port à sec professionnel. Cette solution offre l’avantage de ne pas laisser la coque du bateau en contact avec l’eau de mer et d’éviter l’air salin des ports. De plus, selon le contrat d’hivernage que vous avez avec le port à sec ou le chantier naval, cette solution peut-être plus économique que de laisser votre bateau à flot et payer la redevance de la place de port.

Afloat winterization.

Pourtant, votre bateau est bien conçu pour rester à flot durant tout l’hiver moyennant des précautions particulières pour que son état ne se dégrade pas prématurément. Nous rentrerons dans le détail de ces précautions par la suite. Garder votre bateau à flot demande un minimum de surveillance pour vérifier l’état des amarres et autres après chaque tempête hivernale. Si votre bateau est à longue distance de votre résidence principale, des solutions de gardiennage peuvent être intéressantes. L’hivernage à flot est rarement la solution la plus économique mais elle présente tout de même, certains avantages.

First of all, keeping your boat on the water during the winter allows you to have it on hand as soon as the good weather arrives and to simply decide to take it out of winter storage to enjoy the first beautiful seasonal outings.

Ensuite, garder son bateau au port durant la basse saison et les mois d’hiver vous permet de sécuriser votre place grâce à un contrat annuel. Ainsi, vous êtes certain d’avoir une place dans le port qui vous fait envie. Même si vous n’êtes pas à courte distance de votre bateau, un contrat de gardiennage avec un professionnel vous permettra d’avoir un lien régulier et vous prémunir de tout risque sur votre bateau grâce au passage régulier du professionnel sur votre bateau.

As with many things, the best option will depend on your personal preferences but keep in mind that there is no contradiction in keeping your boat afloat as long as you follow good practices. Nevertheless, it is best to take your boat out of the water at least once a year to perform the necessary maintenance, to check the condition of the engine, check the propeller, inspect and clean the hull.

Exterior and interior winterization of your boat.

We can now go into detail on the various operations to be performed to ensure the proper winterization of your boat, exterior and interior.

The exterior winterization of your boat.

  • Cleaning of the deck, the lockers, the bilge, the anchor locker and take the opportunity to check the watertightness of the joints. 
  • Greasing / lubrication of locks, windlass head, valves, cleats and other metallic parts. 
  • Polishing of stainless steel with a suitable paste. 
  • Cleaning, drying and storage of the exterior saddlery/upholstery/bimini in a moisture-free area. 
  • Verification of safety equipment. 
  • Set up the protective tarps.

 

For all owners of habitable boats, winterizing the interior space is essential to avoid unpleasant surprises after the winter months such as mold caused by moisture.

The interior winterization of your boat.

  • Vidange des réservoirs d’eau grise, noires et douce dans les zones réservées à cet effet. 
  • Verification of the watertightness of the portholes. 
  • Secure the batteries, disconnect the terminals to grease them, plan to recharge the batteries every 2/3 months to avoid any damage.
  • Ventilation of the passenger compartment and provision of moisture absorbers (replace the rollers regularly). 
  • Winterization of the WC. 
  • Protection of electrical circuits. 
  • Securing of the water inlets.
 

All these operations are essential to keep your boat safe and in good condition during the winter months. They can be done without much difficulty by the owner himself or delegated to a competent professional.

Engine winterization.

L’hivernage de votre/vos moteur(s) est indispensable pour éviter toute dégradation prématurée de l’état du / des moteur(s). En effet, que votre moteur soit hors-board, 2 temps, 4 temps, in-board, diesel ou essence, l’arrêt de son utilisation dès plusieurs mois consécutifs (à partir de 3 mois) préconise son hivernage. L’objectif est de réaliser un entretien léger des pièces à changer et éviter que le sel de l’eau de mer ne se cristallise et entraîne une dégradation du corps moteur par le circuit de refroidissement.

These operations can be performed by the boater, but the expertise of a professional mechanic is highly recommended. Indeed, the expert eye will allow to simultaneously carry out a diagnosis that could detect any anomaly that could worsen the condition of your engine without adequate repair. Request a quote in 3 clicks to call a professional mechanic.

How to winterize an outboard engine ?

  • Run the engine for 30 minutes to an hour in fresh water to flush the cooling system. Usually a basin is used, but it is better to use flushing ears to avoid having a closed water circuit. 
  • Couper l’arrivée d’essence et laisser tourner le moteur jusqu’à son arrêt complet pour vider le carburant. 
  • Drain and replace the baseplate oil. 
  • Vidanger l’huile moteur, changer le filtre à huile et vérifier la courroie de distribution (moteur 4 temps). 
  • Insert a stabilizer into the gasoline to prevent condensation and/or moisture. 
  • Change the press anode if necessary. 
  • Graissage du bloc-moteur et de hélice pour éviter la corrosion. 
 

How to winterize an inboard engine ?

  • Remplir votre réservoir à carburant pour éviter tout effet de condensation, d’humidité et que l’eau se mélange avec votre carburant. Cela pourrait entraîner des complications moteurs graves.
  • Add fuel stabilizer. 
  • Get your engine(s) up to temperature. 
  • Flush the seawater system with a soft water hose. 
  • Fill the water filter with coolant. 
  • Add antifreeze to the engine.
  • Change the engine oil. 
  • Change the oil and fuel filters. 
  • Lubricate the linkages.

 

You now know the different steps to winterize your boat and engine so that the harsh winter months do not impact their good condition. You now have the choice to perform the above operations by yourself or to call upon Boatngo's network of qualified professionals to perform these technical services.

Il est important de retenir qu’un bateau qui est entretenu régulièrement et correctement accompagné par un professionnel spécialisé, est un bateau qui verra son espérance de vie se prolonger, coûtera moins cher et qui vous permettra de mieux profiter de vos belles journées en mer.

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