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What is the best way to hibernate my boat?

Summer is coming to an end, schools are starting up again, temperatures are dropping and Sail Amsterdam is unfortunately also over. At the beginning of this summer a blog came online about getting your boat ready for summer. Unfortunately, it is now already time to inform you about winterizing your boat. You can both winterize your boat in the water and on shore. This article goes over both options, as well as examples of precautionary measures.

Wintering in the water

Winterising the boat ashore is generally preferred. Frost damage can be prevented more easily and during the winter months maintenance can be carried out on the underwater hull. However, leaving the boat in the water during the winter does not have to be a problem. There are even a large number of advantages when the boat is left in the water during the winter.


First, this option is cheaper because a place ashore or in a shed can be pricey. In addition, you have no costs for getting the boat out of the water and back in the water. You also always retain the chance for a longer boating season. Does the weather suddenly turn nice around November? Then you can just get out on the water!

boat wintering


However, there are some important conditions attached to the first option. When you leave the boat in the water during the winter, you need to make sure that the boat is in still water where no ice can form. In addition, the construction type of the boat will need to be considered. Solidly built steel and polyester boats are best suited for the first option of leaving in the water. Lightly-built wooden boats are better off being put ashore in winter.

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The most important precaution to take when the boat is left in the water is to pay extra attention to valves and possibly faucets. Underwater valves for the galley drain, engine cooling water supply and toilet should be closed. In addition, hoses are taken off and valves should be dried off.

If it is not possible to remove the hoses, some anti-freeze can be added to them. Here it is also necessary to open the valve, so that it can be concluded with certainty that the space in the valve itself is also filled with fluid.

Finally, the boat is covered against wind and weather. All loose parts on the boat are already removed at that time. During the winter period, check regularly that the boat is still secure and that the tarpaulin is still in place.

Wintering ashore

In addition to spending the winter in the water, there is also the option of bringing the boat ashore and keeping it there during the winter period.


The main advantage of spending the winter ashore is that maintenance work can be carried out on the boat. Boats that are taken out of the water should immediately be cleaned with a high-pressure hose to remove all the dirt. Once the boat has been sprayed clean, it can be put in its winter berth. In doing so, it is important to prop it up well, so that it cannot fall over. When the boat is ashore it is a good time to paint the boat and repair bad spots in the wood or steel, polyester boats are waxed.


The last step is to cover the boat properly; the tarpaulin must be large enough to cover the entire boat. Make sure that the tarpaulin is tightened properly, otherwise damage may occur.

Whether you leave a boat in the water or on shore, make sure all loose parts are off board. In addition, you should make sure that everything is properly cleaned and lubricated if necessary. You can get yourself advice on all the measures or you can take a look on the Internet. That way you won't have any surprises when you use the boat again next year.

Boat insurance conditions

Almost every boat insurance company requires you to exercise normal caution for the boat and its contents. This includes taking sufficient measures to prevent and/or limit damage. Taking timely technical and organizational measures due to winter conditions and influences is an example of this. Winter conditions include frost, hail, ice formation, snow, frost formation, ice formation, storm, high water and low water.

More information about specific preventive measures you should take can be found in your boat insurance policy terms and conditions. Can't figure it out? Please contact us. We are happy to help!

Read also:

8 Tips to prevent theft of your boat or outboard motor

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