Yacht Wintering

Yacht wintering is one of the most essential steps in boat care.

It has come to that time of the year where we have to make plans and take some decisions!

You have had a wonderful Summer on your yacht and maybe you have also managed to visit a good number of countries, however, as Winter is just around the corner, we have to start thinking about preparing our yacht for winter!

Yachts which are neglected over the winter will quickly deteriorate causing all kinds of problems which you will then face when you want to go sailing again in the spring. Whether you are lifting your boat out of the water or leaving her in during the Winter, there are definitely a number of steps which need to be taken in order to keep your boat well cared for.

A little planning and preparation will undoubtedly save you time and money in the long run!


Steps to take to Winterize your Yacht

(Boat care essential step!)

Sails and Covers

Sails and covers can quickly turn green if left outside in the damp. The first thing you should do is take them down on a dry day and leave them open for a few hours. Once they are all dry, roll them again and stow them below. Make sure that you never store them away when they are still damp.  Of course, should your budget allow, the best way to keep your sails and covers in perfect condition, is to, first of all, take them for checking to a professional sailmaker and then have them professionally laundered. This way your sails would be all ready and set for next season. 

Mast & Standing Rigging

So, this is a good time to give the mast a good checking. If you are not scared of heights you could do this yourself and climb up, however, it is always better to ask a professional with a trained eye, who will probably be able to spot any issues better.  What to do:

  • Remove any masthead instruments, not to wear out the bearings
  • Make sure to check all terminal fittings for any corrosion and damage
  • Check wire rigging for loose strands and signs of fatigue
  • Check halyard sheaves for any damage

Also, if you have a furling headsail make sure you clean out the swivel bearings, hot soapy water is usually the best way to clean any built up soil and grime. Protect your head foil with a luff protector so as to keep it under tension and stop it rattling around in the breeze. The same goes for furling mainsails foils.  

Ropes & Running Rigging

First of all, you have to make sure not to leave any loose ropes lying around on a wet deck as this is a sure way for them to turn green. Once they are stained, it is very difficult to remove the staining. What you should do is to mouse them out of your mast using a strong mousing line – make sure that you mark all the halyards so that you know where to refit them! If you do not want to mouse them out, what you should at least do is lift all the halyards off the deck by pulling them out of the jammers and stow them at the mast in neat coils so that they are able to air out and dry on sunny days. By doing this you will prevent the ropes from turning green, you can properly inspect them from any damage, prevent chaffing during the winter, and also give them a new lease of life by properly washing them from the salt 

On Deck Items

Make sure that you remove anything that can be stowed below such as life buoys, safety gear and more. Also, make sure that you empty any cockpit lockers from items that will deteriorate in the damp. 

Serviceable Items

Make sure that you send away any items which require servicing such as life jackets and life rafts. Also, make sure that you remove any batteries from items such as MOB lights etc. Remember that certain items such as flares, First Aid Kits and Lifejacket lights have expiry dates, so check and replace accordingly. 

Exterior Wash

Once everything has been put away, give your decks a good wash down. Clean out any blocks and jammers and try and remove any salt and dirt deposits that have built up. 


Once you are done from the outside, you have to focus your attention on the inside!  Go through your boat and give everything a good and deep clean. Lift up the bilge boards, remove any cushions and bunk boards, you need to make sure you leave nothing there that will spoil throughout the winter. Use anti-mould cleaner around the refrigerator and any other areas which might mould. Also, leave the fridge door open for airing and remove any perishable items. 


Give the toilet compartment a good cleaning. If you have holding tanks make sure that they are properly emptied and flushed through with a suitable tank cleaner. Wash the toilets out with fresh water and put some toilet cleaner down and around the bowl. 

Cushions and Soft Furnishings

Remove any curtains and cushion covers and take them for washing and place the bunk cushions upright for airing. 

Heaters and Dehumidifiers

If you have shore power you can also set up a couple of heaters on a low setting and running a dehumidifier will keep the interior of the boat dry and warm. Leave doors and cupboards open so that air can circulate. 


If you are leaving your boat in the water, you should run up your engine periodically, in this case, the engine will probably be left in commission. At some point, the engine will need to be serviced, and this is best done before winter. Old oil can cause internal damage to your engine. It is best to leave your engine laid out with clean oil in the winter.  If your boat is ashore, winterising your engine is the most sensible thing to do. 


Check your batteries with a load test meter, grease the terminals and check that they are left on trickle charge. 

Fresh Water System

Empty your water tanks and drain down the entire fresh water system, making sure that you do not forget the hot water tank. Disconnect the 240V supply to the heating element to prevent it from burning out. Finally, leave your taps open and remove your transom shower tap head if you have one.

Why Choose Boatcare Trading Ltd. 

At Boatcare Trading Ltd. we have both the manpower and expertise to Winterize your yacht. We offer close attention to your individual needs, always offering efficient and tailored services. Our strength is the quality and scope of the boat repair services and yard work we offer to our clients and we are now one of Malta’s leading yard work companies. 

We can carry out all yard work that may be necessary, including the entire range of repairs and refits as well as the regular, seasonal requirements of antifouling renewal and hull and topsides cleaning and polishing. We also do osmosis diagnosis and treatment.

All work is as far as possible, carried out by our own trained and experienced staff, and any subcontractors required are closely supervised to ensure that the work is completed up to standard and schedule.

The yacht yards in Malta are equipped with everything needed to complete any job to the high standards expected by the boat owners, starting with the haul out facilities. Smaller boats are served by a mobile boat lift capable of carrying up to 45 tonnes, or cranes adapted for boat lifting with a capacity of 50 tonnes. Larger boats up to 60 metres in length with a draught of under 3.9 metres and weighing up to 500 tonnes can be pulled up slipways, while larger yachts can be serviced in floating docks (up to a length of 68 metres), or in dry docks with no practical limits.

Once dry, there are facilities to carry out any type of work necessary, from hull repair for practically any material and osmosis treatments to full overhauls of main and auxiliary engines, propeller repairs and balancing, electrical installations, compass swinging carried out by professionals, or complete paint jobs and refits.

Contact us for more information!