The winter months for boat owners can seem very long. Short days, adverse weather conditions and rarely a hope to use your boat! However, the winter months actually provide the perfect opportunity to carry out work on your boat. From underwater repairs to re-antifouling the bottom, cleaning and general maintenance to undertaking routine engine services and even installing new gadgets; all in time for the Spring launch.
Get inspired by exploring our Projects & Solutions Mini Guides for useful ideas for the practical boat owner.
After a seasons work splashing through the waves your boats hull maybe quite dirty. Below the waterline you may find mussels, algae and other foreign matter and above the waterline calcium and black streaks may have built up. Here are a few effective boat bottom cleaners which can help to clean such marks off.
An important project for boats out of the water is the routine re-antifouling. Antifouling helps protect the bottom of your boat from the build-up of unwanted matter, algae, and mussels that can be obtained from a season afloat. Launching with fresh boat antifoul paint and waterline paint gives the hull a fresh layer of self-eroding protection.
Preparing your boat for re-painting the antifouling in the Spring is a vital exercise before you begin applying the paint. Make sure the surfaces are cleaned, masked up, and that you have all the equipment necessary to complete the job.
It is well worth checking the underwater gear for damage whilst out of the water. Especially looking for damage to propellers, rudders, propeller shafts, cutlass bearings and the accessories that go with the underwater gear setup - repair or replace with new if required.
Anodes are designed to help guard against corrosion of underwater gear such as, propellers, shafts and rudders which are vital to the vessel. It is important to check that an anode is in good working order and free from paint or other coverings. A regular anode change could prevent unnecessary and expensive repairs.
An engine service is a regular maintenance task. Checking, repairing and replacing items that have perished is an important project. From replacing water pump impellers, seals and 'O' rings to changing the engine oil, spark plugs and contact set to replacing engine gaskets and installing new core plugs and drain taps.
Looking after your boats bilge is an important task. Bilge cleaners and bilge paints help keep engine bays tidy and can aid identification of potential engine problems by highlighting signs of leaking. Bilge pumps withdraw unwanted water and bilge blowers remove potentially hazardous fumes; helping to improving safety onboard.
Whether it be a new splash of boat paint, perhaps changing the theme of your boat, or a completely new cooker and gas system for the Boat Safety Scheme, a new boat heating system or boat hot water system or even a new boat toilet system you can usually upgrade your boat to enjoy the luxuries of home living onboard!
Extend your season afloat this year by installing a Propex HS2000 boat gas heater. The Propex HS2000E heater runs on either gas or shore power for greater convenience and is available for up to three heating outlets. Additional Propex spares are also available from heater ducting, heater vents and heater flues.
Stay hydrated this summer with a good fresh drinking water system that is clean and purified to help prevent against bacteria build up in the water system. There are several boat drinking water tank cleaners to flush your water system out and drinking water purifiers that can be popped into a water tank each time you fill up!
Anti-slip floor covering can be used on boat decks and in cockpit areas to improve safety onboard and can leave an attractive finish. Select from smaller, self-adhesive, grip pads to larger sheets that can be cut to fit different layouts, or, cleaners and colour restorers can help with repairs to existing anti-slip flooring.