What Should You Do With Your Yacht Through Winter?

What Should You Do With Your Yacht Through Winter?

The harsh winter months can prove a difficult time for yacht owners. Along with the need to pay for the same upkeep anchoring costs as usual, there’s the added frustration of not being able to use your vessel in poor weather. Add to that the necessary preparation and preventative maintenance ad there’s a lot to think about. But if it’s your first winter as a yacht owner, there’s no need to panic yet.

With the right research and a carefully planned strategy, you can protect your yacht through winter and start using it as soon as the weather improves once more.

Why do you need to prepare yachts for winter?

As the temperatures drop and the sea becomes a more dangerous beast, it’s essential to have a plan for your yacht. If you’re planning to do some winter sailing, then we’d recommend heading to the best winter sun sailing destinations.

No matter your intentions, low temperatures and harsh conditions pose a risk to your yacht’s structural integrity and engine health too. Following the most essential winter maintenance tips will be critical to ensuring another year of plain sailing.

What does winter maintenance for yachts involve?

  • ‘Winterising’ the engine

Taking care of the engine is your biggest priority. If you encounter engine damage or total failure, you’ll undoubtedly face sky-high repair bills. From changing the oil and filters to ensuring an ample supply of antifreeze, now is the most important time to give your vessel an annual service.

Once you’ve done this, dry the bilges thoroughly underneath the engine to reduce the risk of corrosion. Painting them white should also highlight any imperfections or leaks in the future.

  • Clearing the fuel tank

If you’re certain that you won’t be using your yacht over winter, it’s wise to top up the fuel tank now. This removes the possibility of condensation, which prevents bacteria from the diesel from getting into the system.

Add some fuel stabiliser and only leave a one- to two-inch gap. Your yacht will then be ready to go once the sunshine arrives. You might prefer to seek professional yacht management services to ensure that all mechanical tasks are completed to a high standard.

  • Considering indoor storage

If you can access indoor storage and you won’t be using your yacht over the winter months, it’s one of the most foolproof options for keeping your yacht in top condition. However, if you do take this strategy, it’s essential to keep it in a safe facility. Aim for a secure compound, preferably locked, guarded, and with 24-hour CCTV operating on-site.

  • Keeping batteries dry

Batteries are vital and should be considered a lifeline. If you won’t be using your yacht for several months, try not to let the batteries get damp or run empty. You can ensure their health and prolong their lifespan by charging them every so often during winter, even when your yacht is out of use.


Preparing for winter is a critical part of yacht ownership. Even though the tasks involved might feel tedious, failing to honour your commitments as an owner could have catastrophic consequences on your ability to enjoy the yacht in the future.

With the right approach to preventative and proactive maintenance through winter, you can ensure that you’ll be able to use your pride and joy as soon as the season changes.

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