Checklist for Storing Boat in a Hot Climate
Secure boat in slip:
Outboard Engine / Fuel System:
Secure boat in slip:
- Make/buy chafe protection for dock lines.
- Position lines so boat is centered in slip and allow for maximum tides. (Since Orion Jr is in a non-tidal waterway, this was much easier.)
- Use standard docklines and extra “hurricane” lines. “Hurricane” lines are ones that are new and one size larger than typically required for our size boat.
- Attach 2 lines from each piling (NB: not cleats) to 2 different cleats on boat and from each cleat to 2 different pilings. This allows for the failure of any piling or cleat with no disastrous effects.
- In slips with finger piers, on the side with the pier, put lines high on the pilings and on the opposite side the lines are low on the pilings. As the water rises, the effect of this arrangement will be to pull the boat away from the finger pier.
- Clean anchors and rode in fresh water. Once dry, stow below in anchor locker. (Since our Danforth is too big to fit in our anchor locker, we just put it below on a settee.)
- Drop headsail, lay out to dry (if necessary) and stow along with jibsheets in sailbag. Put sailbag in plastic bag and stow below.
- Remove and store mainsail with mainsheets below. (We just take off our boom with the main on it and stow below.)
- Run fresh water through deck washdown hose (if possible) and close thru-hull. Stow hose in locker.
- Clean and remove canvas, enclosure and all pockets from cockpit. Stow canvas in plastic bag or tub below. Protect enclosure with soft fabric and lay flat (ideal) or roll up. (We have no place to lay out the enclosure so we roll it up.)
- Secure bimini bows so they will not catch the wind and ensure points of contact are protected with chafe protection. (We used pipe insulation.)
- Protect surfaces on deck. Wax fiberglass and polish stainless steel. Cover exposed teak with fabric or apply extra coats of varnish. (We did the latter.)
- Clean waterline stain and wax hull.
- Remove and clean jacklines. We washed ours in freshwater and fabric softener to remove the dirt and saltwater before storing below.
- Re-bed any leaking fixtures on deck. Seal leaking portlights. Since we’ve been having some troubles with our portlights, we re-applied silicone around the edges and then covered them with Reflectix and 6-month “Tough” Duct Tape. In theory this should come off without a massive clean up if taken off within 6 months.
- Remove blocks for jib sheets.
- Remove instruments not permanently installed and stow in Faraday case below or remove from boat. For us, this includes our chartplotter, the remote VHF mike and SPOT Personal Tracker. The Faraday Case is a larger Pelican case that we have lined with aluminum foil.
- Remove grill, clean and stow below in plastic bag.
- Tape on instrument covers for instruments that are permanently installed using 6-month duct tape.
- Make a cone of hardware cloth screen for cockpit scuppers to prevent clogs.
- Put screens in all dorades and above water thru-hulls to prevent mud-daubers and other insects from gaining entry.
- Remove rudder and tiller handle. Clean rudder, enclose in plastic and stow below.
- Spray docklines with insecticide.
- Lock cockpit lockers and companionway hatch.
Outboard Engine / Fuel System:
- If possible, run engine in freshwater.
- Run engine out of fuel.
- Empty all fuel tanks and dispose of gas. (We gave our oil/gas mixture to a fellow boater and put the unmixed gas in our rental car.)
- Remove outboard and stow in fuel locker.
- Retract fuel line and electrical cables back into hull to prevent sun damage.
- Fully charge batteries.
- For lead acid batteries, top off water and, if possible, equalize.
- Provide for a trickle charge. Since batteries sitting idle will lose up to 3% a week, you need to replace this loss. Since we will be unplugged, we set up a 5-watt solar panel to provide the necessary replacement power.
- Turn off all extraneous boat devices. We do this by turning the battery switch to the off position. This leaves the solar controller, bilge pumps and high water alarms still powered.
- Disconnect power and antenna cables from the VHF radio to prevent damage in case of a lightning strike.
- Remove ham radio from boat.
- Top off water in tank
- Put bleach in tank. We put in about a cup for a 13-gallon tank.
- Run dinghy engine in fresh water, if possible, and run out of fuel. Remove from dinghy and stow below or in a locker.
- Clean dinghy inside and out and coat with protective coating. On our Portabote, we use Armour-All.
- Dismantle dinghy and stow folded boat along with components below.
- Clean dinghy bridle by soaking in freshwater with fabric softener. When dry, stow in cockpit locker.
- Ensure adequate air flow by installing a solar vent(s) and a screened opening on the opposite end of the boat.
- Clean inside all compartments with either some bleach water or a 50-50 vinegar and water solution. Take this time to remove things from the boat that you haven’t used in a year or two.
- Strip and clean linens and stow in plastic bag with a dryer sheet.
- Wash cushion covers. Turn cushions up.
- Place all clothing left on the boat in plastic bag with a dryer sheet.
- Clean nets, take down and stow in plastic bag.
- Put all silverware, food utensils, plates, bowls and other serving dishes in plastic. (This was necessary because of the insect fogger.)
- Remove all aerosol cans or other flammable items, such as mineral spirits and Acetone from the boat.
- Put all cleansers in a plastic bucket or container to prevent damage if one leaks.
- Close all thru-hulls except for cockpit drains and bilge pump.
- Empty solids from composting head. Dump liquids and clean container. Clean all surfaces of toilet to ensure no smell remains.
- Clean garbage can with bleach water.
- Empty icebox and clean thoroughly with bleach water to remove any smell.
- Defrost freezer and clean thoroughly with bleach water to remove any smell.
- Clean sink drain with vinegar and baking soda.
- Enclose any books or papers left on board in plastic bags.
- Remove any canned goods. Put dry goods in firmly sealed container (lock n lock).
- Test bilge pump and high water alarm.
- Remove important papers and electronics from boat.
- Put out a 6-month container of Damp-Rid.
- Activate insect fogger to remove any lingering pests.