Topic: Winterizing my Contessa 26...
Just thought I'd make a post, partly to help me to remember for next year and partly so you guys can give me some suggestions. In fact, I'm still stumped on the exhaust...
Ok, so my checklist
- Empty the boat of all perishable contents; Including food, dry-goods, cushions and anything that can pick up mildew or break when frozen.
- Empty the boat of non-essential items; Remove those items that build up over time that just way the boat down. This is the clutter of spare or broken sunglasses, spare towels, jackets flip-flops and all the other "just-in-case" extras that you don't actually use.
- Remove and inspect all safety equipment; Flares, life jackets, buoys etc. Make a note to double check and replace the necessary items in spring.
2. Fresh water system
Our Contessa has a fibreglass water tank under the v-berth connected to a single Whale Pump in the galley sink.
- Open the inspection hatch. Yuck. Drain the stale water, either by pump or just running it through the system.
- Clean and dry the tank. I am unable to completely disinfect the tank by hand, but we've done our best and dried it as best as possible.
- Inspect the hose. Ours was filled with grime, so I have removed it from the boat completely. We'll replace it in spring.
Since the tank is dry and there's no outlet hose, nothing further is required. This saves the horrible mess of trying to deal with antifreeze in the system.
3. Waste system
Our Contessa has a Jabsco head with a new pump that I just replaced this year. It is connected to both an outlet as well as our holding tank via a Y-valve. We have discovered that the previous owner has improperly added the anti-syphon vent to the hoses... they will need to be redone in spring.
- Clean the toilet and head and pipes before haul-out. Finish by pumping it as dry as you can.
- Pump out the holding tank. Our big mistake this year was forgetting to do this before we put her up on the hard!!! Never again. That was a horrible job.
- Once on the hard, pump the toilet intake dry. Ours naturally drained with no water left in the clear hose.
- Fill the toilet bowl full of antifreeze, pump the head dry. This will clear out any standing water in the hoses.
- Fill the toilet bowl again with as much antifreeze as you think necessary and pump through the system. I left some anti-freeze in the bowl, just in case there is any condensation.
We have a K34 single cylinder diesel. I'm not sure if I have done this correctly, so any advice is greatly appreciated.
- Turn off fuel line.
- Fill fuel tank and add stabilizer.
- Remove and dispose of fuel filter.
- *** Manual says to add anti corrosion oil to some fuel and run it through the engine. Is this necessary or just a good idea?
- Change the oil. I changed the oil, but would also like to clean the screen... I don't have a spare gasket so I will leave that for the spring.
- Remove the cover to the impeller cover and let drain.
- Remove the impeller. Holy crap! Mine was missing two fins and I have no idea where they are! The previous owner rebuilt that part of the engine and told me he put in a new impeller... where could the fins have gone?? The temperature gauge never told me of an issue...
5. Bilge, Drains and seacocks...
Our Contessa has two cockpit drains and a Waterlock wet exhaust.
- Inspect the cockpit drains and ensure they are clear with no plugs. Since they are clear, there is nothing more to do. (Reminder: Replace hose clamps in spring)
*** BIG QUESTION HERE ***
- Drain the Water lock exhaust. HOW?? The exhaust is so far aft in the engine compartment, I can't reach the rear of it where I *think* there is a drain cover. I can't reach the hose clamps on the aft end to allow me to move the exhaust forward. The outlet side of the exhaust is attached to a high loop under the deck... I can't get to the hose clamp with a screw driver. I have no idea how to drain or replace this wet exhaust and I'm scratching my head how the previous owner got it in there. *PLEASE* some advice is needed.
- Don't forget to pump the bilge dry. After you've done so, pour a bunch of antifreeze into the bilge and pump it through the bilge pump until you see it pink out the other side. This ensures you've got anti-freeze into any crevices in the pump itself.
Our Contessa has simple instruments but a bit messy wiring. We are having the instruments looked at over the winter so some of these steps may not be necessary in the future.
- Turn off the main electrical switch.
- Remove any instruments that may freeze & crack. Our JRC radar screen is definitely off the boat and so is the Mr. Man (the autopilot).
- If there are any holes in the cabin, make sure to cover these. We have temporarily done so with plastic, but I suspect something stronger should be used.
- Remove both batteries. Be sure to mark them with which one is fore and which is aft.
7. Rigging and hardware
Our Contessa is being stored with the mast up. The upside to this is that it saves me a tonne of money in storage and crane charges, the downside is that I'm worried about the components; Radio antenna, radar dome, lights, roller furler and the lack of ability for me to inspect them in spring before launch. *sigh*
- Remove all extra hardware; Genoa turning blocks and slide blocks, roller reefing blocks, windvane blocks.
- Remove our custom traveller; I just replaced our traveller, including supporting block. There is no way this is sitting outside all winter.
- Remove and store BBQ
- Remove and store anchors
- Remove and store boom, boom vang, mainsheet tackle.
*** What to do with halyards? Should I leave them out all winter or run other lines through for the winter?
- Remove and store the sails in a dry location
- Remove dodger, sail covers.
8. Other items...
- Don't forget to drain the hose.
- label wires.
- label blocks
- tie off halyards
- Wash... if you have the luxury of running water (we don't) scrub the decks down. *sigh* Wish we could use the hose on our boat.
- take pictures! It helps for the following year when you need to know where the cradle pads were located, how certain parts went together, what parts need to be replaced, and if something should have an accident, you can use the photos for insurance purposes.
I haven't quite got here yet, so final items to add to my list
- Tarp the boat to keep the snow off. The previous owner used the mast on deck as a cross beam and put the tarp over that. However, with the mast not being taken down, we'll need to devise a system to keep the snow off.
- Lock up! Who knows what roams the yards at night. We've seen everything from blocks to turn-buckle split-rings disappear at other yards.
My outstanding questions
A. (as above) I don't know how to get to my Waterlock exhaust. What to do, what to do...
B. Should I remove my tiller handle?
C. Is it critical to run anti corrosion oil with diesel through the engine?
D. (as above) What do I do with halyards? Leave them in or remove them?
Any and all advice, tips, suggestions etc. are very welcome. Please feel free to respond here or send me an e-mail at (remove spaces) j o r d a n @ o m a t o . c o m