Winter Preps 1

3 September and I’m thinking about winter.
The UK sheeple would be thinking I’m daft but hey, I live on a boat so it don’t get more daft than that. Only to hammer that thought process in, it’s pouring with rain!

I turned the page on the diary / log book and the pre-winter checklist is there in all it’s 8 page glory. Starting with engine servicing, battery checks, water heating and systems, access points, vents, boat heating systems, and a weird notation I obviously scribbled in as an extra, “Where the hell did I put the antifreeze tester?”

There is always something to do when living on a boat and a rolling program of ‘man’tenance is necessary to pick up the snags before they become problems. So starting early is “prudent”.

In the house we’d still be foraging for whatever and prepping our veg patch produce for storage PLUS repairing the years damage to fencing, the roof, and the usual property maintenance. So things may have become easier with no outside work to consider. Or so you would think.

Thing is, if you sit quietly in the water, all moored up enjoying the sun for a few months, the water does nasty things to you and grows weed on the hull. Not a problem for us regarding damage as we have an aluminum hull BUT it don’t half add to the drag!

How much of a difference does that make? Well going out on a 9 day run we used 25 liters of diesel. What weed was there is usually scrubbed off during that time. On the way back, we only used 20 liters. To some gas guzzling boat owners that’s nothing only think about. Only to us it’s a saving of a 1/5 th because there was no weed?

So, its hull scrubbing time. Yet that’s not quite as easy as the ‘gin palace’ plastic boats, for instance we’re 12 ½ meters long and weigh 6 ¾ tonnes. Thus we need a crane to lift us out not some trailer and a large 4×4. The solution? A large yard brush on an even larger brush handle and work from the pontoon.

Or, we could just go out for another 9 day trip.
(Eyes glazing over as I love being out on the water).

Now some bright sparks will be saying “where’s the anti-fouling paint”. Not found on narrow boats. The most the narrow boats do is getting hauled out every 3-4 years, get jet washed and scraped, Anodes get changed, and 3-4 layers of bituminous or equivalent paint slapped on the sides.  Really basic isn’t it?

As for checking the egg beater aka propeller?
We’ve got a nifty weed hatch directly above it. The only thing to worry about here is a fish called a pike and its psycho brother called a zander. For some stupid reason they think fingers in the water are edible.

Bearing in mind Pike weigh in at 30 lbs and
Zander at around 10 lbs in the marina?

fingerfishYou need to be a little nervous about things.

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4 Responses to Winter Preps 1

  1. Brittius says:

    Bottom painting. Here you get barnacles and tiny mussels. After all is scrapes and wire brushed, I would take a can of Cayenne pepper (size half pound per gallon), thoroughly mix, and paint. Keeps barnacles and mussels away as they get a spicy burn when trying to attach to the boat bottom.

  2. shtfprepper says:

    Drop a waterproof flash-bang grenade in the water and then check the propeller really, really quick.

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