Getting your boat winter ready

4th October, 2018 by Sutton Harbour Group

There’s nothing better than taking your boat out on a hot summer’s day, finding a small private beach and jumping into the sea, but winter is coming and for many, it’s a time to moor up for a few months, or come out of the water until warmer weather returns.

Here at Sutton Harbour Marina, we provide berthing all year round, and our 420 berths are well protected behind Sutton Harbour Lock. There’s also 24-hour gated access, so it’s just as easy to use your boat in the winter as it is in the summer, and you can keep your boat in the water all winter, ready for a sail or motor out on a good day, without having to stop boating during the winter months altogether.

It’s still important to constantly maintain the condition of your vessel however, so for those who still like to take their boat out in the colder months, we’ve compiled some top tips to make sure your boat stays in great condition.

KEEP EVERYTHING TOPPED UP

It’s important to make sure your fuel and water is regularly topped up to avoid running out while at sea and to reduce condensation. Our water temperatures probably won’t get low enough to freeze any water that’s in the engine but it’s still a good idea to top it up with coolant to avoid any chance of damage.

Starting your engine will also be harder in the winter due to the drop in temperature. It will require more power which is why it’s best to make sure the batteries are fully charged.

GET THE GEAR

You will feel the cold a lot more out at sea, especially in the winter months, so make sure you keep warm. Extra layers, wetsuits and even ski gear will help keep your temperature up and reduce risk of hypothermia. It’s also a good idea to keep extra clothes on board in case you need to layer up or in case you get wet on a trip.

FREEZING

If we’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to get snow again this year, sea water will help remove any snow or ice on your boat. Keeping the lines dry is important to avoid them freezing and will be a lot nicer on your hands.

Something to consider is that different gases have different freezing points. It could be better to have propane if you’re planning on using your boat in the winter as it has a lower freezing temperature than butane.

REDUCING CONDENSATION

It’s even more important to maintain your boat conditions in the colder months, and the less condensation the better! To reduce mould and damp you have to make sure there isn’t any moisture and condensation building up on interior windows. You can do this through insulation and covering the windows.

TIME

As winter draws in, so do the days. Shorter days mean shorter journeys therefore, so make sure you are aware of how long your journey is going to take – and your return time to the Marina. It’s essential to check the weather and tide times before departing so you are aware and equipped for sea conditions.

We offer annual berthing rates as well as winter-only berthing packages, starting from £102.90 (up to 13.4m) and £113.19 (from 13.5m).

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