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Old 13-02-2014, 07:30   #1
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How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Hello,

I just recently bought a 36 Union cutter in Florida. She a beauty. Currently the seller is living aboard and will be motoring it inland (fresh water canal, flush the engine, nice) to a marina for the haul out March 1st.

I will not be sailing it North to Delaware until May, so I am having the boat dry docked til May. I live in Delaware so will not be able to monitor the boat. However the broker works at the marina and said he will keep an eye on her from time to time.

Unsure how to store it?

Should I leave a small amount of gas in the tank, fuel lines?
Water in the tanks?
All vents covered and taped?
Remove any food left by the seller?
Cushions?
Does the boat need to vent some amount?

Thanks.
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:42   #2
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

First a question. When you say gas in the tank do you mean actual gasoline or fuel as in it is diesel? If gasoline I would prefer to leave it dry or at the very least add some Sta-bil or other gas treatment to keep it good.

Not as big an issue in the winter but a boat closed up in FL for too long will start mildewing.

Certainly remove any perishables, food in boxes or bags that might attract critters. Canned stuff probably OK.

Cushions maybe turn them on the side so they can breathe better.

Tape the vents? Which ones? Fuel and water tank breathers? Summer time dirt daubers tend to build nests in them but again, probably OK in the winter. I wouldn't cover any other vents (like dorados) unless they leak.

Speaking of leaks, it has been pretty rainy in FL lately so it would be prudent to have any leaking vents, ports, hatches covered to keep the inside dry.
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:51   #3
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

I think skip covered it very well, vendilation to prevent mildew is the key, in addition wipe down everything real clean (walls ceilings). Drain out all the water, I'd even run some non-toxic antifreeze through just to keep any growth out. Change the oil in the engine and disconnect the batteries.

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
First a question. When you say gas in the tank do you mean actual gasoline or fuel as in it is diesel? If gasoline I would prefer to leave it dry or at the very least add some Sta-bil or other gas treatment to keep it good.

Not as big an issue in the winter but a boat closed up in FL for too long will start mildewing.

Certainly remove any perishables, food in boxes or bags that might attract critters. Canned stuff probably OK.

Cushions maybe turn them on the side so they can breathe better.

Tape the vents? Which ones? Fuel and water tank breathers? Summer time dirt daubers tend to build nests in them but again, probably OK in the winter. I wouldn't cover any other vents (like dorados) unless they leak.

Speaking of leaks, it has been pretty rainy in FL lately so it would be prudent to have any leaking vents, ports, hatches covered to keep the inside dry.
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Old 13-02-2014, 07:57   #4
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

I would completely fill the fuel tanks and stabilize the fuel. It's either a completely full or completely empty thing with fuel tanks. I like to keep them full to prevent condensation.
I'd also cover any vents because May ain't winter in Fl, dirt dobbers will be out in March.
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Old 13-02-2014, 08:00   #5
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

take batteries off the boat and store them with someone to keep them charged if you can.

all above, but you might want to get some dehumidifier modules. not sure they will last 3 months.
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Old 13-02-2014, 08:12   #6
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Pretty boat... Great ride... My buddy has one....

You may go broke filling the tanks.... You may have problems with fuel smells/leaks if cast iron... Ask the PO about capacity and last time she was topped off...
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Old 13-02-2014, 17:24   #7
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Thanks you guys.

What in the world are dirt dobbers? The name alone sounds like bad news. Where do they nest?

The fuel tank is new and plastic should be o.k. I think i will top the tank off and add additives.

Although more expensive it might be easier to shrink wrap the boat. Unsure of the cost. Should I tape all the through-hulls closed. Would the shrink wrap cause to much condensation inside the boat?

Could I use bleach ( of course with water) to treat the water tank once I returned in May?

Thanks again, anything else let me know.
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Old 13-02-2014, 17:33   #8
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Just a note about filling the fuel tanks. Florida is pretty hot. Allow some room in the tanks for expansion if you are going to fill them.

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Old 13-02-2014, 17:38   #9
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Top up the fuel.

Empty the FW tanks

Empty the holding tanks

Remove all canvas and sails

Switch all batteries off

Remove all food etc.

Plug all through hulls from outside

Hang a bunch of formaldehyde bags in the boat. This'll kill anything, critters, mold etc. Use to be easy to get in FL until the EPA made a lot of rules. They were sold in Walgreens but not anymore but available online. Sun-pacs they're called. Used to prevent mold in FL closets and freshen things up.

If you have a good ventilation system it helps. But no solar vents not a problem. Use the Sun-pacs.
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Old 13-02-2014, 17:47   #10
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Raise every mattress up on to its edge. Leave every locker door/lid open.
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Old 13-02-2014, 18:08   #11
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

as mentioned:
*turn up the cushions to let them air out.
*Turn everything off to the batteries but leave them in and the bilge pump on "auto". It rains hard in Fl and can fill a boat pretty quickly... especially if it's sitting at something other than it's normal angle while on the hard.(you dont know this boat)
* The little bees will fill your tank vents in a short time in the summer, dont know about any other time. Tape them. Stuff something in your exhaust outlet so rats or insects dont go in there.
* If you can find a way to provide screened ventilation without water ingress.. do it.
*You're not in the storm season so I would just leave the mainsail on the boom and covered.
*remove food and leave the fridge doors open.
*Forget using those bags of dehumidifier granules, they disappear in FL in just a few days it's so humid.
3 months is a quite short time really, so I wouldnt worry about fuel. Last boat I bought in FL had sat 3 years and still ran on the fuel. Most boats sitting in the marinas probably have fuel older than that .
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Old 13-02-2014, 18:27   #12
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

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Thanks you guys.

What in the world are dirt dobbers? The name alone sounds like bad news. Where do they nest?
Dirt daubers. Member of the wasp family. They make nests from dirt (or mud) hence the name. Their nests are long hollow tubes of dirt that they love to build in little holes and things like your tank vent outlets which will of course now be blocked. Annoying little critters.
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Old 13-02-2014, 19:01   #13
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How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Dirt daubers. Member of the wasp family. They make nests from dirt (or mud) hence the name. Their nests are long hollow tubes of dirt that they love to build in little holes and things like your tank vent outlets which will of course now be blocked. Annoying little critters.


A piece of pine straw or small stick, with a water, fuel, or air chaser and you're back in business.!
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Old 14-02-2014, 22:12   #14
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

Thank guys. Would it be over kill to shrink wrap it. Getting a good feel of what needs to be done to store her.
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Old 15-02-2014, 05:10   #15
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Re: How to Store a Boat for 3 Months in Florida

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Thank guys. Would it be over kill to shrink wrap it. Getting a good feel of what needs to be done to store her.
Shrink wrap in FL? Last thing I'd do. If you really want to protect it use a sunshade material. That's what I do.
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