Apr 23, 2020

Shrink Wrap2020 is a year of change – self-isolation, social distancing, quarantine, and working remotely have become the norm. For many, this has been a bitter pill to swallow. Another bitter pill for boaters is the delay of the season. Provincial laws differ – so terms like ‘essential’ aren’t translating widely across the marine world.

In BC, marinas remain open and fuel is available, sometimes with conditions. In Ontario, marinas, boat launches, yacht clubs and the professionals that service the marine industry aren’t considered essential, unless the service and location allows a person to access their permanent residence only accessible by boat.

For most of us in the east, this means a full shutdown. Marina and yacht club gates are chained, with access only permitted for emergencies. For those living aboard, access and service can be slow. For those with boats on trailers in storage or in driveways, there’s limited access to launch ramps. In short, the season hasn’t really kicked off.

Boats In StorageMost of us are itching to get back aboard but the itch has morphed to a desire to protect and maintain our assets. I’ve had more than one anxious phone call asking about options, potential for damage, and how to mitigate and navigate the spring of 2020.

Here are some questions that I’ve been fielding and addressing:

1) Are my inboard, outboard and diesel motor going to be OK? Will the winterizing done in the fall continue to protect the engine?
2) Will my potable water system be damaged with changing temperatures and condensation build-up?
3) What’s going on inside my shrink-wrap? Is there humidity or condensation causing damage?
4) Will my batteries drain? Will they die and/or require replacement?
5) Once I get aboard, what should I tackle first?

First: ‘Winterizing’ is a deceiving term. It implies that the process used to protect the engine and potable water system is a time-limited event Further, it implies and that once winter is over, the protection doesn’t last. A better term could be: Long-term storage, or long-term layup. If the engine has been winterized according the manufacturer’s directions, the term of storage could be over successive years. Your engine and potable water system won’t need to be checked on or addressed, even with the delay in use or launch this year.

The only caveat to this is the fuel: Both gasoline and diesel have a shelf life. Part of the winterizing process is to stabilize the fuel in order to preserve the fuel’s ability to fire. Prolonged storage (more than a year) may cause the fuel to go bad, and may gum-up parts of the fuel system (carburetors, spark plugs and fuel filters). For the moment, things will be OK.

Bilge WaterPreferably you don’t face this – water in the bilge

Under the shrink-wrap or tarp, your boat will be clean and dry in an ideal world. If the boat was wrapped or tarped with any moisture inside, this moisture may create condensation, humidity and mould growth inside. Products like “No Damp” are added inside the wrap in order to remove any moisture that may be present. Adding ventilation and patching any large holes will certainly help preventing this, assuming you have access to the boat.

Another point to consider, which could certainly fall under the ‘emergency’ category is the collection of water inside the boat. Any rips or tears in the shrink-wrap could allow water to get inside and accumulate. Over time, trapped water could fill-up in the bilge could cause significant damage. Having the wrap checked to ensure that the cover is secure and that drain plugs are free of debris may be worthwhile. It makes the case for tarping well before storage.

BatteryModern batteries (including lead-acid flooded, AGM and Lithium) are designed for long-term storage. A part of winterizing is the removal of the battery cables. This ensures that circuits are unable to draw from the battery, thereby draining it. In practice, this doesn’t always happen. Some of us may find our batteries drained and in need of re-charging. That said, the main danger to a battery is freezing in a discharged state. Because temperatures are warming, this damage isn’t a concern until the fall of 2020. In short, the battery can be left (even if discharged) for long periods of time. There is no need to charge it for fear of damage. That said, you might want to be prepared with a battery charger once you are able to get back aboard.

Once access to our boats is restored, I would approach spring start up methodically. Next issue we will take a look at some recommendations.

I hope this addresses concerns, and separates the ‘essential/emergency’ items from those that can wait. Wherever possible, follow the directives of local, provincial and federal governments: Sit tight, stay home and weather the storm.

Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.

Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Wednesday, 21 November 2018 01:37

Recently I suggested doing an off-season (winter) project with a potential client, and my suggestions was met with surprise; surprise that she wouldn’t have to move her boat, and not have to worry...

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:24

Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods needed to make connections between components and wiring.      

Wednesday, 09 August 2017 02:52

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Monday, 14 November 2016 21:45

Letters to the editor, rants, complaints and oh yes, unsolicited compliments. They all go straight into the INBOX. We’d love to hear from you at CYonboard@kerrwil.com  

Tuesday, 10 April 2018 23:59

All engines, including marine engines (inboards, outboards and stern drives) have many moving parts that need to be lubricated by oil in order to allow metal parts to move with as little friction as...

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 07:16

For most of us – this is the time to make the most of the boating season – launch and set up are done. Systems have been recommissioned. Let the fun begin!

Boat Reviews

Video Gallery

 

 

Beneteau Oceanis Yacht 54By Zuzana Prochazka

Beneteau saw an opportunity to add a little thrill to any cruising adventure, so they took the hull of the First 53 racer (introduced just last year), and with a few fashionable changes, created the Oceanis Yacht 54, the new entry-level of Beneteau’s swanky Oceanis Yacht line. The result is a performance cruiser that sails like a witch and looks like a grande dame.

Design

Roberto Biscontini is the naval architect and Lorenzo Argento created the details of the exterior and interior design. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
Over the course of four days in September 1864, representatives from Prince Edward Island, Nova ...
The new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming ...
Commemorating 100 (+1) years of through-navigation on the Trent-Severn Waterway National Historic ...
On Friday, April 2 at 7 pm ET on TVO and streaming anytime after that on tvo.org and the TVO ...
Salt Spring Island, the largest among the Gulf Islands, has a certain mystique—much of it having to ...
Located in Lake Huron, the internationally significant Manitoulin Island is the largest freshwater ...
In Part I, Sheryl Shard ended the story at June and the start of Hurricane Season when they were ...
You likely aren’t quite ready to travel yet, but we have our fingers crossed that we can all fly ...

Riverest MarinaThe new owners of L’Orignal Marina offer boaters a new destination. Located in a charming francophone village in Eastern Ontario, this joined marina and restaurant venue is the ambitious initiative of long-time entrepreneur André Chabot and biologist Alexandra Quester, both residents of L’Orignal.

The purchase of the L’Orignal Marina was made official in November 2020. The new year was barely underway when all 50 available slips were already reserved. No wonder the addition of member and visitor slips is already planned for the 2022 season – the 2021 count is up to 62 power and sail already. At the moment, the Riverest Marina offers boaters a stop where they can launch their boat...

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Photograph taken on Sept 15 while drifting home after the last Wednesday evening race at Collins ...
On the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, fourteen exceptional sailors were inducted into the Canadian ...
My husband and I purchased this beauty in Gananoque two weeks ago and boated it from there across ...
Last issue we featured a story about the engagement proposal aboard Via-Mara, a 1969 Trojan 42 Aft ...
With thanks to Sail Canada, here’s a collection of photos that are Olympic quality. Clearly our ...
Wow. That was a lot of fun reading the collection of boat names that came in from all over the ...
No individual had a greater impact on the modern sport of sailing than Bruce Kirby. Known and ...
Just off The Ocean Race European Tour, Daniel is setting his sights on competing in The Ocean Race ...
After being our fearless leader and publisher since CYOB kicked off, Greg Nicoll, handed over the ...
Swim Drink Fish is spearheading the Vancouver Plastic Cleanup by installing, maintaining, and ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Dockmate®, manufacturer of advanced wireless remote controls for yachts, has announced expanded ...
PORTS Guides are The Essential Boating Companion and Look Great in Gift Wrap!    
Updated features and benefits offer next level of product excellence by integrating innovative ...
AkzoNobel Yacht Coatings has introduced a new, easier to apply topside system with two new products ...
Whether for news, weather or just to watch the game, onboard television reception is important. But ...
Kanvaslight® was specifically engineered for a long life in a salty, sun-drenched environment. The ...
Watermakers take ocean water and create perfect drinking water using reverse osmosis. A Schenker ...
If you’re headed out for a weekend afloat or on a week-long cruise you often must park your vehicle ...
Ten years ago, St. Margaret’s Bay (Halifax), Nova Scotia-based SailTimer Inc. made the first ...
Between the odor and working in confined spaces, replacing an onboard sanitation line is never a ...

News

  • Prev
According to digital news outlet www.insuaga.com, a new, full-service and modern Port Credit marina ...
The Canadian Sailing Hall of Fame and the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston are pleased ...
Paul Tennyson adapted from the reinforced plastics business to form Canadian Sailcraft in 1963. ...
Canadian sailors Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS won the bronze medal at the ...
Royal Canadian Yacht Club’s Defiant completed a six-race sweep of the Cup for Canada over Zing, the ...
On September 6, Groupe Beneteau laid out its course to develop new boating experiences, new ...
Last Friday, the first ever Canada’s Celebration of Sailing honoured the season for Sailing in ...
Boating Ontario is very proud to have Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety jump on ...
Montreal-based Vision Marine Technologies, Inc. is headed to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout to ...
Summer is in full swing with Canadians enjoying time outside and on the water. So, while enjoying ...

Mia and Caleb's EngagementOn July 23 last year, CYOB published a piece on a beautifully restored 1967 Trojan 42 Motor Yacht in Oromocto NB. (That piece was also expanded in CY magazine later in the year.)

One of our Canadian Yachting contributors, Denise Miller, had shared the article on my social media and a young man reached out and asked if she could connect him with the owners of the boat, Dave and Barb. Denise leapt into action and Dave and Barb were thrilled. They concocted a plan that the young lady, Mia, thought she was coming to model for a sales brochure for Dave to do charter tours.

Read More