While some Afloat.ie readers plan to keep sailing through the colder months, and have surely taken note of UK Sails’ recent heavy weather sailing tips, most will have seen or will see their boats lifted out this month.
Either way, this is still an opportune time to maintain your vessel and ensure you’re still ready to sail once spring comes around — and Yachting Monthly has a guide to the essentials you should know for midwinter maintenance.
While modern boatbuilding has made for a hardier product, boat-owners should resist the temptation to simply lift and let live, as frost and cold can affect even the most durable boat.
Don’t put off the small jobs: get your rigging washed and dried, and mend those worn ends. Check your sails over for stitching and any spots of wear or chafing. And remove sensitive electronics like your chart plotter for safer storage at home.
Indeed, clear out your boat as much as you can to keep old and mildew to a minimum. If you’ve lifted out for the winter, be sure to remove all freezable liquids, too, on the off chance a leak leads to hull damage in sub-zero temperatures.