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Boat care

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Winterising 'checklist' for hardstanding where power is available
When a boat is lifted out of the water for the winter there is a range of tasks that will help it come through the winter intact, the most important being to prevent frost damage when it turns cold. It is vital that these tasks are undertaken to protect the equipment and the longevity asset the vessel represents. Moreover many insurance policies do not cover damage caused by lack of maintenance, so you could also be out of pocket in the short term.

Protecting the external appearance and reducing spring recovery of a wintered boat
Time off can be especially hard on a yacht. Hardstanding boats being stowed for winter have to endure the full force of the winter elements. Left unchecked, corrosion will spread, moisture can intrude and freeze, lubrication can congeal and neglect can take root over the long, cold months. The extended period of inactivity can accelerate wear and tear and contribute to a large-scale rejuvenation effort the next season. In addition, boatyards are typically stored in industrial areas or near towns. This causes a deposit of grime and pollutants from the nearby businesses. Even if you are lucky to store the vessel in a rural coastal setting the birds tend to enjoy the benefit of the rigging as a perch. The resulting droppings can bond with the gel coat over the course of the winter making them difficult to remove.

Avoiding fender rolling chafe
Laying alongside in a chop, or near a very busy waterway where the wash of passing boats rolls in, will cause a vessel to continuously jostle back and forth upon the fenders.

Removing rust marks and stains
It is easy to get rust stains on a seagoing yacht. When carrying out work such as cutting an anchor chain link off, or bolts and shackles, fine metal particles can get left on the boat. Likewise, it is easy to accidentally leave a piece of ferrous metal on deck and come back to see it rusting. The worst, and probably the most common culprit, is taking up rusty old mooring chains and having them sit belay at the stem for a while. All of these will quickly cause rust marks or an ochre discolouration across a wide area that bonds with the gel coat. Once that happens the discolouration is virtually impossible to remove by normal cleaning methods.

Rejuvenating a spray hood’s water resistance
Spray hoods become slightly porous after four or five years of constant sunshine. Once this happens they loose their waterproofing capability.

How to reduce winch maintenance
Winches are expensive, have a hard life and are often subjected to very heavy loads when they are needed most. They collect grime and receive a regular dousing with seawater that needs to be attended to by regular servicing. Winches maintenance is not overly onerous, and is fairly infrequent but nevertheless a time-consuming task when it comes around.

Avoiding exhaust stains
Water-cooled inboard engines inject cooling water into the exhaust pipe, which cools the exhaust and muffles engine noise. The exhaust then pushes the water out the exhaust pipe. This is known as a wet exhaust system. The problem is that black exhaust stains tend to build up beneath the exhaust outlet.

How to keep a yacht’s varnished wood trim in good condition
Most yachts have varnished wooden details above decks. This degrades quickly under strong sun (ultraviolet) light and/or continual damp conditions and you can lose it very quickly to water damage.

Reducing Spring refit time whilst also making your boat look better
If you cannot cover a vessel during its winter hardstand, see protecting the external appearance and reducing spring recovery of a wintered boat, it will take the full brunt of the challenging winter environment. This will cause degradation and require enormous amounts of spring refit work to recover.

How to smooth out the black caulking in teak deck joints.
Manufacturers and suppliers of teak deck caulking recommend using a flexible putty knife to smooth out freshly squeezed-out caulking.

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