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Old 28-03-2015, 07:57   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Bremerton, Washington
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 171
System preservation during extended refit

I bought my boat about three years ago. Daysailed her during the first year of ownership, then began a moderate refit, which turned into a much bigger refit (as these things tend to do).

Unfortunately, the time consumed by the boat refit began to detract from a major home renovation project that's been going on for a few years (what was I thinking?). So I decided to put the boat on mothballs while I finish up the house, which will probably take another year or two. That was about a year ago, so all together, she will be sitting idle for 3+ years. Systems are in partial disarray, so I can't take her out until she's put back together. In the meantime, I want to make sure she doesn't deteriorate.

Boat is at a marina in Puget Sound, so winterization is not needed. Boat is covered by a full canvas cover, so the deck and fittings are well protected. I've got a low wattage heater and a dehumidifier on board, and I perform a boat check every week or so. So no real concerns with the interior.

My primary concern is with the bottom and the engine.

Bottom is due for a repainting (three years on the current paint job), but I can't really do that until she's put back together so I can get her to a haulout. I've been having the bottom cleaned a couple times a year, which I plan to continue doing, at least to prevent excessive (hard) marine growth. Then as soon as she's back together, a haulout for full bottom prep and repaint will be first order of business. Any reason I should do something different?

As far as the engine goes (it's a Yanmar 2QM15 RWC), my plan is to continue to change the oil, filter, and zincs once year, and to occasionally (maybe every 4 months?) start the engine and run in gear against the docklines until up to temp (an hour or so). Any concerns there?

Fuel is known good source, with biocide, so I'm assuming it will last a couple years without any major problems.

Anything else I should be concerned with?
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Old 28-03-2015, 08:20   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34, "Shoal Survivor"
Posts: 3,454
Re: System preservation during extended refit

Sounds like you've covered the basics. A few more things to consider.
  • Dehumidifier. While many will say ventilation is enough, for long storage drier is better. With the boat covered, leak-free, and sealed up, a small thermoelectric unit should do a good job. (Evadry 2000 tested well in PS and I've used one for years). Open cabinets etc.
  • Vent drier on diesel. H2OUT or home-made. Really help preserve fuel by eliminating moisture and reducing air exchange.
  • If there is an outboard on the tender, run that too. Take the tender home, if you can.
  • Cycle all of the breakers while you are there running the engine.
  • Check the battery water. It will go down.
"Climbing (sailing) is like fun, only different."

Tom Pattey, Scottish ice climber
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Old 01-04-2015, 21:45   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Bremerton, Washington
Boat: Spirit 28
Posts: 171
Re: System preservation during extended refit

Thanks for the reply.

I do have a dehumidifier, similar to the ones discussed in Practical Sailor. I have a small heater that I sit next to it, which adds a bit of heat to the boat, and also seems to keep the dehumidifier from freezing up.

I hadnt heard of the vent drier - I'll need to check that out.

Thanks again.
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