Checklist for laying up a boat on the “hard” or on the "water" for hurricane season or long term storage (we suggest a weekly visit during hurricane season due to the mold issue).
Sails: On the "hard" before you haul out you must check with the yard as you might have to remove the main, genoa, sail-bag/stack-pack etc. and store inside the boat or lockers. On the "water" you may remove them or lash the stack-pack and put lots of extra turns around the genoa however, leaving the sails up does create extra windage.
Extra anchors out on the water: If you are anchoring or even on a mooring, then it would be prudent to put out an anchor to the SE for incoming storms and no moorings can withstand a numbered or named storm. Should the anchor tangle with the mooring, then I offer a service where I spin your boat with the dingy to untangle them.
Halyards: On the "hard" or "water" make sure all are tight and tied securely to avoid “clanging” on the mast and chafe.
Canvass work: On the "hard" you may have to remove dodgers, etc. (ask the yard). With regard to winch covers, hatch covers (we can UV wax same for protection along with other items on deck) BBQ covers etc. they can be secured tightly with UV elastic (the white elastic cord) to prevent them blowing away plus it is always a good idea to tie them on at some point to the boat with strong line so that should a storm come close with strong winds and rain behind it, they will remain with the boat. Remove all loose items on deck and store inside the boat, i.e. fenders, dock lines, water and fuel canisters, etc. Lash wind generators. Close all through hull ball valves to prevent ants etc. getting into the boat on the "hard" and also put rags in the outside holes plus in the exhaust outlet/s on the "hard".
Lead acid batteries: top up and make sure distilled water is available to top up on routine checks.
Outboard : On the "hard" use “bunny ears” and flush with fresh water then start same and let it run till it runs out of gasoline. Then take off cowling and spray engine with WD40 or Corrosion X and put cowling back on then chain to rail or you can store at a fee with contractors on the hard. On the "water" just empty out all gasoline and let it run till it is out of gasoline and then spray WD40 and then Corrosion X over the engine and put cowling back on.
Saildrives on catamarans: On the "hard" you can use bunny ears and flush with fresh water or put a hosepipe down the raw water intake pipe from the inside.
Dinghies: On the "hard" or "water" you can lash it on the deck or chain and lash it under the boat or lash it on your davits (just remember to take out the dinghy bung if on the davits!) Put oars etc. safely inside the boat.
Anchor chain: 1. On the "hard": Let out anchor chain onto an “A” frame or onto a pallet and clean with a wire brush then if needed "Ospho" and then hose down with fresh water and paint with oil for protection. Flush out anchor locker with fresh water to eliminate any residual salt/smells etc. remaining in the locker. 2. On the "water" on a mooring: For added protection, set up two anchors ready to deploy should a cyclone come close, one on the aft stern and one up forward. You can also lay out your main anchor to the SE of the bay while picking up the mooring and we will spin your boat with the dinghy should the chain wrap around the mooring. This will save us time and you money. Please note that after a storm has passed it is often difficult to raise the anchor which is dug in so deep, so it will have to stay down until the moorings are checked in November and the divers can use a bag to lift same and there may only then be a minimal cost. If you want it lifting prior to November, then we will have to charge for the divers to retrieve same.
Water-maker: On the "hard" pickle as per manufacturers recommendations and on the "water" you can do same or else leave it on automatic flush or we can manually flush same (usually every 5 days), however we have found that sometimes voltage can climb too high due to nothing running and auto flush watermakers can go into "protection" mode and stop flushing (i.e. Spectra).
Fridge/Freezers: On the "hard": Empty and clean out with a 25/75 bleach and water solution then put a pad (socks work well!) in front loading doors to keep them open to air then tape semi closed. With top loading fridge/freezers, leave open or ajar. You can also place Baking Soda into a cup or small container, place in fridge and/or freezer to absorb any lingering odors. On the "water": Then you can either leave them as above, or if you are gone for a short period of time and want to keep them running, then I can check same on my visits along with the voltage to make sure they are not drawing too much from the house-bank.
Diesel and engine/generator lay-up’s: 1. Fuel Management Unless properly treated, diesel — especially the newer bio-diesel and low-sulfur fuels — can grow stale and prone to bacteria and fungal infestations while in storage, resulting in sludge and sediment that can plug filters, create starting problems and damage engines. Also, an empty fuel tank invites condensation, and over time this results in water collecting in the bottom of the tank, posing a serious problem for diesel engines. To help prevent any of these maladies, fill up before long-term storage. Then treat the fresh fuel with a diesel biocide/stabilizer. After treating the fuel, install new primary and secondary fuel filters, and then bleed the fuel lines to eliminate any air pockets. Shut off all fuel supply to diesel engine/generator. 2. Fresh Oil Used diesel engine oil contains acids and other contaminants that can eat away at metals over long term storeage. So ditch the old oil now! To change the oil, run the engine for a few minutes to warm up the oil. If the boat has been hauled, you’ll need the proper motor flushers for the engines (or plumb the intake pumps) to supply cooling water from a garden hose, then shut down and drain or pump out the old oil. Change the oil filter and fill the crankcase with fresh oil (per the manufacturer’s specifications). Also change the oil for the transmissions at this time. 3. Good Drainage Open all drain plugs to purge the raw-water cooling systems. Plug locations vary by manufacturer, so check your manuals. Use a stiff wire to clear any sediment from drains. Also, bump the ignition to turn over each engine (without starting it) to clear water from the pumps. If your boat stays afloat through the season, you can drain the systems by first closing the seacock’s for the raw-water inlets, then removing the inlet hoses and intake-pump covers, as well as all drain plugs. After clearing the raw-water systems, replace all of the drain plugs. If you removed the intake-pump covers, give each impeller a light coat of Vaseline and replace the covers. 4. Corrosion Prevention To avoid corrosion over the season, plumb the motor flushers or intake pumps to draw rust-inhibiting propylene-glycol antifreeze such from a bucket or tank, and run each engine until the solution exits the exhaust. Not only does this displace any standing water and coat the water jackets and heat exchanger with a corrosion inhibitor, but at the same time it distributes inside the engine and transmission a coat of the fresh, clean oil that you put in earlier to help prevent internal rust during storage. Once the diesel is off, immediately shut down the supply of antifreeze to prevent siphoning liquid into the combustion chambers and hydro-locking the engine. Because antifreeze can swell some rubber materials, replace the intake-pump impellers upon return as part of your recommissioning process. If your boat has closed cooling, check the recommended maintenance schedule to see if you need to change the antifreeze in these systems as well. This is typically at 1,000 hours, but check the level regardless. 5. Other checks While you can wait until you return to your boat on the "hard", now is a good time to check zincs, belts and electrical connections, as well as the O-rings on fuel fills. Also inspect the physical connections at the transom and along the exhaust outlets — lots of water flows through here! Replace, repair and service anything that looks suspect or worn, and you’ll have that much less to do when you return. 6. All Sealed Up On the "hard" seal the exhaust outlets on the hull and air filters on the engine with heavy plastic and duct tape. This prevents moist air from finding its way into the combustion chambers via open exhaust or intake valves while your diesel/s are enjoying some well-deserved downtime.
Fresh water tanks: Treat with bleach (see below) then flush through over and over again with all taps open on return. Multiply gallons of tank capacity by 0.13; the result is the ounces of bleach needed to sanitize the tank. This is 1/8 cup of plain bleach (no fragrance) per 10 gallons. Multiply liters of tank capacity by 1.0; the result is the milliliters of bleach needed to sanitize the tank. Mix the proper amount of bleach within a 1-gallon container of water. This will provide better mixing and reduce spot corrosion of aluminum tanks. Pour the solution (water/bleach) into the tank and fill the tank with potable water. If possible, allow some solution to escape though the vent. (If the vent is exterior, prevent any spillage into local waters.) This will sanitize the vent line. Open all faucets (hot and cold) allowing the water to run until all air is purged and the distinct odor of chlorine is detected. Leave the pressure pump on. The standard solution must have four hours of contact time to disinfect completely. Doubling the solution concentration reduces the contact time to one hour. When the contact time is completed, drain the tank. Refill with potable water and purge the plumbing of all sanitizing solution. Repeat until bleach is no longer detectable. If the smell of bleach persists after two refill and drain cycles, add a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per 20 gallons and mix. The peroxide will oxidize the hypochlorite to chloride (salt) and oxygen, neutralizing the bleach. Any excess peroxide will be harmless to drink and will have no taste. Peroxides are common ingredients in commercially available water freshening preparations like those we tested. Don't use vinegar, which can ferment, undoing all of your hard work! Replace all filters and the vent screen. Note for aluminum tanks: Some sailors are afraid of using bleach in aluminum tanks for fear of rapid corrosion. This shouldn?t be a concern for infrequent cleaning when the recommended dosage and time is observed. As an alternative, we found PuriClean to be an effective sanitizer, and it was non-corrosive toward aluminum.
LPS gas: close off gas bottles and disconnect, open valves to all burners to release any remaining gas from lines *remember to close all burners prior to reconnecting gas bottles!
Store ALL “cockpit” cushions below deck along with winch handles (preventing the possibility of theft), boat hooks, fishing equipment, fishing “gaffs”, etc. Any grain products remaining in provision stores should be removed, given away or disposed of to prevent insect infestation (weevils) I.e. pasta, flour of any type, cereals, breads, chips, etc. Remove all batteries from torches (flashlights) along with any electronics that use batteries to prevent damage from long term storage. Some people use tarpaulins to cover their whole deck area to protect their upper sides from the sun, however the birds will nest under there so the boat will need a very good clean before your return plus in most boatyards, you will have to have someone take them down very quickly which is not always possible, if there is a tropical cyclone approaching! Also with the rain, I find that the boats will "steam" under the cover so your lines and sheets will get green and black mold on them.
Protection of gelcoat from UV all over the boat (including decks): The boat can have a wax only (easy to polish off upon your return) to ensure that she looks good on your return as the UV is very damaging to the gelcoat down in Grenada (we offer this service).
Dehumidifying Crystals: A lot of boats, especially with lots of woodwork inside them use "dehumidifying crystals" inside the boat to keep the humidity down, which is definitely needed during the peak months of July/August/September when humidity reaches 100%! We can arrange that on your behalf if we feel there is a need for same. You can also use large storeage bags or you can vacume pack pillows, clothes, etc. to keep them fresh.
Electric Dehumifiers: With dehumidifiers, please make sure they are not left in the full "on" position as they can suck all of the moisture out of your woodwork and heads! Also when you leave same on in a boatyard, there is always a possibility that someone unplugs them by mistake, so guardianage services would be needed to keep an eye on that to ensure that they keep on working or organize with the yard that they wire in your power so nobody can take out the plug.
Mildew and Mould Control: Wipe down and spray all surfaces with "pure white vinegar" with drops of tea tree oil in same if you can source. You can also fill glass jars with pure bleach and leave in safe areas such as sinks, etc. to control mildew and also it is best to wipe down any leatherette on headliners, hull coverings, etc. and oily wood with pure white vinegar/tea tree oil before leaving to prevent and kill mildew before it starts. We can also do all of this for you, should you not have enough time and we will let you know plus send you pictures if we see mildew starting on your boat which will need to be wiped down to stop same. Pest control: You can put down “Combat” paste for cockroaches (they love it!) plus liquid ant bait and you can also “bomb” the boat before you leave just in case you have picked up some unwanted stowaways along the way and by the time I make my first call, there is a whole family waiting for me! If I find un-wanted visitors then I will put down bait and advise you of same so you can decide if you want me to "bomb" the boat.
Please feel free to advise us of any further suggestions we can add to our list that you have found help with lay-ups on the "hard" or on the "water".