Posted by: Amy | 13 December 2011

A correction, plus an article on winter boat preparation

In the Fall 2011 issue of The Ensign, an article in Shipshape, “Prepare your boat for hibernation” (p. 14), carried an incorrectly spelled attribution. Frank Barron wrote the article, and we at The Ensign apologize for the error. As part of our mea culpa, here’s a little more information on Barron:

Frank Barron

Capt. Frank Barron III is a United States Coast Guard 100Gt Master and a SAMS surveyor for Blue Water Marine Surveys. When not surveying, delivering, instructing or conducting charters along the U.S. East Coast, Caribbean and Bermuda, he and his wife, Lynne (also a USCG captain), spend a lot of time continuously restoring  their 1958 48-foot, wooden Wheeler on Jekyll Island, Ga. The couple are also members of the Golden Isles Power Squadron.

And in case you’re interested in just how to prepare your boat for hibernation but never saw the article in the Fall 2011 issue, here is Barron’s article again, for your reading pleasure:

Prepare your boat for hibernation

Before putting your faithful family boat to bed for the winter, give your boat’s systems a little attention.

If you have a marine head, it most likely has a diaphragm pump. Just before you take the boat out for the last time, put a tablespoon of mineral oil in the bowl and pump it a few times. This will lubricate and protect the diaphragm or gasket, keeping it ready and functional for the next season. Also, empty any trash, pump out the tank and sanitize the area.

Exercise the seacocks when the boat is out of the water. For Marelon seacocks, use a drop (not a spray) of lightweight penetrating oil; for bronze seacocks, use heavier grade grease. Open and close seacocks a few times before leaving them open.

If your vessel will remain in the water, close the seacocks. Make sure they are sturdy and operate smoothly. According to BoatU.S., 50 percent of sinking claims are because of underwater fittings, so visit your boat often in the winter.

Drain your freshwater tank if you have one. Flushing it out several times in the spring will eliminate any stale smells.

Spray exposed electrical connections in the engine room, under the dash and below cabinets with a quality anticorrosion spray. Do not use WD40; it gums up in a saltwater environment. Blaster CSP Corrosion Stop is better; it’s hard to find but worth it. Bring electronics inside to a dry, secure place.

Remove all food items from the cabin. Hungry critters will find those leftover crackers or that loaf of bread before you do next spring. Also, open cabinets and closets and lay cushions on their sides to minimize mildew. You may want to scatter a few dryer sheets around.

To winterize your engine, refer to your owner’s manual.

–Capt. Frank Barron


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