Back.bmp (30126 bytes)

Start.bmp (6710 bytes)      INDEXico.bmp (934 bytes)

On.bmp (30126 bytes)

Home         Index



LAY UP & REFIT (Winterize/dewinterize)


Exactly what an individual lay up involves depends upon use and personal preference. Will the boat be used during the winter? What sort of cooling system is involved? What facilities are there for transport and storage off the boat?

Refitting is just the opposite of lay up.


We have already covered much of the lay up in the cooling and fuel sections.


What we are guarding against




Electrical deterioration.




The domestic water system should also be protected from frost. You can fill it with potable antifreeze, but it might be rather expensive. If you do not do this you should drain it down, although modern plastic plumbing makes frost damage to pipes less likely, there are still metal parts that could be damaged.

Turn on all taps and run pump until they run dry.

Remove pipes from shower mixer and turn on to drain (or dismantle the valve body).

Remove drain from instant gas water heater water diaphragm chamber or loosen clamping screws.

Remove lower domestic water connection from calorifier and drain.

Loosen covers or remove drain plugs from domestic water pump.

Antifreeze shower pump as described under cooling.




One of the biggest benefits of the BSS is the virtual elimination of condensation during the winter. This is because of the enhanced ventilation.

If you have a sea boat or if you insist in covering your ventilators during the winter, you would be well advised to remove all soft furnishings, mattresses and cushions to a dry store for the winter. If you have the correct ventilation only remove clothes etc, the rest will stay perfectly safe.

You would also be advised to ensure your bilges are checked regularly throughout the lay up period.

Water in fuel has been covered.




The early autumn is used to touch up/repaint hull/topside damage etc.

All external lockers, gas tanks, and battery boxes need cleaning, de-rusting and painting as required.

Bilges should be cleaned of debris to ensure any damp can evaporate away. Ideally floor boards should be raised to allow air circulation.

Hinges and locks need lubricating.




Your batteries should be kept fully charged. This could mean removing them, taking them home, and cycling them. That is putting them on a slow charge and discharge cycle.

With dry exhaust keel/tank cooled boats it is probably better to visit them once a month to run the engine until the ammeter (if you have one) drops to 2 - 3 amps per battery (Three batteries = 6 to 10 amps).

All external connectors require dressing with petroleum jelly.

The batteries need cleaning and their terminals need dressing.




Remove or hide anything that looks as if it is easy to move and can be sold in a pub. (TV, navigation equipment etc).

Remove expensive external TV aerials - they tell everyone you can afford the odd 100 and a TV is likely to be aboard.

The poorer you can make the interior look the less likely you are to be broken into!



The following table will allow you to develop your own lay up plan.

  Change engine oil  
  Change engine oil filter  
  Change gearbox oil  
  Change gearbox oil filter  
  Clean gearbox oil cooler  
  Clean heat exchanger  
  Check/top up/replace antifreeze  
  Check all hoses & clips  
  Check alternator belt  
  Antifreeze raw water system  
  Remove Jabsco impeller.  
  Check tightness of mounts.  
Drive line    
  Check stern gland/repack  
  Refill shaft log  
  Check flexible rubber hose  
  Check coupling bolts  
Fuel system    
  Change fuel filter  
  Change & clean agglomerator filter  
  Clean sedimentor  
  Clean lift pump  
  Get injectors overhauled  
  Bleed system  
  Fill up diesel tank  
  Check for leaks  
  Check all unions  




Best practice is to ensure your boat does not breakdown, rather than to try to learn to fix it if it does.

Because of the virtually infinite combinations of equipment and installation methods, the only way to prevent breakdowns is to get to know your own boat - what is normal, what is not. Investigate oddities in performance of equipment, 90% of the time you will not find anything wrong, and the other 10% of the time you will prevent a breakdown.

The only way to get to know it is to spend time investigating it, finding out where the cables run, the water pipes run, and what type of equipment is fitted.

Having identified a piece of installation or equipment you are unsure of, seek advice on what it does, seek advice on how it works and what maintenance it needs. Boaters are, by and large, a helpful lot and will be happy to pass on their experience.

In these modern times use the Internet - Join the news group uk.rec.waterways - just read the postings for a while and then you will be happy to ask for help when you need to.




One last piece of advice, which will not go down well with much of the "trade", Ensure the design of your boat allows all the fixed structures to be put in place BEFORE the pipe-work (all of it - gas, fuel & water), control cables, calorifier, and wiring is put in place.

This might require more design effort and cost a bit more, but when something goes wrong you need access to it, and to be able to remove and replace it. You can not do this if it has been built in!

It is ludicrous that a dinette has to be dismantled before panels can be removed to give access to change a water tank breather hose. How can an intelligent person run a main water supply hose through bearers and under a screwed down and built over narrow boat floor?

The above examples are drawn from your lecturer's own boat and he considers it to have been built to better than average standards, goodness knows what you find at the budget end of the market!



Good sailing and happy boating, and remember, if you come across a tin slug called JennyB give me a wave or even ask for advice.



Back.bmp (30126 bytes)

Start.bmp (6710 bytes)      INDEXico.bmp (934 bytes)

On.bmp (30126 bytes)

Home         Index