Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Winter Lift Out Check List

With the British winters becoming colder and harsher, more precautions are needed to ensure your pride and joy stays safe during the winter months. Navigators & General recently published an article stating that January is the worst month of the year for boat insurance claims, 40% higher than the average month. Simon Tonks, Navigators & General Business Manager said: “The combination of freezing tempertatures, driving rain, and high winds makes this a particularly vulnerable time of the year for boats. Over just a few months, ropes can wear, fenders burst, bilge pump batteries run down, sails become unfurled, cockpit drains block with leaves and lines work loose. While boat insurance is there for if the worst happens, most policies will not cover damage caused to vessels which have not properly been maintained.” 

With so much to think about, we’ve put together this handy check list to help you and your boat this winter. 

1. Prior to the boats arrival, ensure that the marina/yard team are aware of your type of vessel and keel configuration. If you have a picture of her out of the water it can be a great help. 

2. If you are planning to have any specialist/messy work done during the winter, ensure the staff know well in advance so they can position you in a suitable area. 

3. Prepare fenders and warps on both sides whilst safe in the water. Lift out season is a busy time and things can change constantly. 
Cross Bracing Wooden Shores
Provides Extra Security

4. Do not tie covers or tarpaulins to wooden shores or cross bracing! 

5. Remove all expensive equipment, outboard and tender and store in a safe place. 

6. One of the most important things you can remove are the SAILS! Ideally, they should be removed prior to lift out, however, this is not always possible. Each year many sails unfurl in the winter gales causing lots of damage to boats.

7. Remove any covers, dodgers or spray hoods that could become damaged over the winter period. You might want to think about sending them to Covercare for a good clean! 

8. Remove the log impeller and replace with a blanking plug. 

9. Check all standing rigging and screws for sign of wear or damage. If you want an expert eye, Barry the Rigger can do this for you. 

10. Check your seacocks. Look at them from the outside and check the conditon of the through-hull skin fittings. Also check the inside that they all operate correctly and easily. A handy tip: make sure each through-hull fitting has a wooden bung of the correct size tied to it so if something does go wrong you can plug the hole quickly. 

11. Check your propellers and anodes whilst she is ashore. If your anode is more than 50% gone, replace it. If they go during the season you could end up with an expensive bill next year! 

12. Drain down your water tanks – we all know what happens to water when it freezes! 

13. Get your engine winterized. Cutler Marine can do this for you. It is worth it! 

SeaSafe are your local
life jacket service provider.
14. Service The Lifejackets – An important maintanence task that many overlook! This can be done for you in the office. We send them off to SeaSafe who will check them and notify you of any defects. 

15. When leaving the boat, ensure that all batteries and gas bottles have been switched off. 

16. It is always useful to leave a spare set of keys with the office, not least of all incase you forget to bring yours when you come down. 

I hope you found this useful! If you have any useful tips or advice to help others prepare for winter, please send them to Courtney via 

The Thornham Team
01243 375 335

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