Check your boat every month through the winter
Minor problems can quickly turn into larger ones when water is involved. In fact, trapped water is the most common cause of damage to a boat over winter.
When water freezes, it expands, which can cause split pipes and is particularly damaging to engines. When the ice melts, water can get into the boat and, in extreme circumstances, sink it.
On the Norfolk Broads, lichen and leaves are particularly problematic. They can block window drainage channels, causing damage to interior wood and furnishings.
If your boat is stored undercover in a heated storage facility, you need not be concerned with regular winter checks. But if your boat is in the water or stored unprotected on hard standing, we recommend that you carry out these checks every month.
Proper winterisation will help prevent problems such split pipes. But regular checks will ensure you catch minor problems before they become larger, more costly ones.
Follow this checklist each time you visit your boat in the winter.
A battery can lose 5 percent of its charge every month if left to sit. Inspect the casing for bulges or cracks and the terminals for corrosion. Check the voltage and the fluid levels. Top up with distilled water and charge if required.
Look for any hull damage caused by debris, passing boats, or rubbing up against the shore. Make a note of any damage or take photos so you can check it’s not worse on your next visit.
Make sure your lines are still correctly secured and haven’t become overly slack or tight.
Lichen and leaf build-up
Take a tour topside looking for lichen or leaf build-up. Carefully remove moss or debris from the window drains. We also recommend washing the topside exterior once or twice through the winter.
Thoroughly check the interior of your boat for signs of damp and mildew. Particularly check around the windows for leaks. While you’re there, give the boat an airing to remove the stale air.
Lift your bilge hatches to check for signs of water seepage or leaks.
Check that the shore power hasn’t become disconnected or shorted out.
Heaters & dehumidifiers
If you have them, make sure that heaters and dehumidifiers are working correctly and haven’t been tripped by problems with the power.
Look for signs of disturbance or damage and report anything suspicious to the Broads Beat team at Norfolk Constabulary. It’s advisable to mark your property with Smartwater or SelectaDNA pens and keep an inventory. Outboard engines are the most popular target for thieves, so secure, alarm or remove them, or use security covers.
If you’re unable to check your boat every month, we can do this for you. Boats outside of Brundall will be subject to additional travel costs. Get in touch for details.
Winter battery maintenance: £220+VAT
Winter welfare check: £50+VAT
Topside exterior wash down with bankside hull clean: £3.50+VAT, min charge 28ft