Winterisation Tips for Your Boat in Cyprus

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boatsThe presence of salt that is sodium chloride in seawater complicates the life of boat owners and sailors alike. Not only does it cause corrosion to metals it affects the life span of electronic equipment, ropes, sails, chains, wood, and leather to name but a few examples. Therefore, it is important to protect your boat against the hostile sea water. But what measures should a boat owner (or charterer) adopt to protect his/er boat? Firstly, the geographical location where the boat operates is an important parameter. Take for example Cyprus which has a really hot summer, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C, commencing usually in May and extending until November. Winters are usually mild with temperatures rarely dropping below 5°C.

Under these conditions what can a boat or yacht owner do to protect the boat against the elements? Most modern motor boats are made of fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) which if left in the sea for a prolonged period of time (years), sea water can sip into the boat structure. This is an unwanted situation because it can promote osmotic blistering, aeration of the gelcoat, wicking, or it could promote delamination of the FRP hull or the deck. Osmosis related defects are an undesirable effect of the exposure of the hull to the water and every effort should be made to mitigate their impact. Dry docking your boat in the winter time is very important as it gives the opportunity to the hull to dry from water related moisture.

Equipment such as an autopilot, a compass and leather seats should be properly protected not only from water moisture but from the sun as well. Watertight covers are recommended while removing any salt using a moist fresh water cloth could do the trick. Engine maintenance is vital especially if the boat is to remain idle for a considerable amount of time. It is good practice to start to engine every two weeks or so to keep mechanical parts in good working condition. Make sure that the radiator is full of cooling fluid. You might also want to add anti-freeze and anti-corrosion agents to guard against freezing and corrosion.   

Winterisation of your boat ideally should protect the coating as well. Washing and waxing the boat helps lengthen the lifetime of the coating while preserving its shine. The main engine also needs preparation for the winter time. Depending on how many hours the boat has accumulated during the summer season you might want to change the oil and oil filter. Should you choose not to do so because of the boat has not been used extensively bear in mind that according to the guideless of the engine mechanic and manufacturer the oil needs to be changed within a certain period of time irrespective of whether the boat has not exceeded its service deadline. If you are not planning to change the oil and oil filter at least add crankcase conditioner. It is also recommended to change the fuel-water separator cartridge and to either fill up the tank of drain it completely. Adding fuel stabiliser to the tank is another important step.

For more info and guidance on how to best maintain your boat in Cyprus feel free to contact Tropida Marine.

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