Together with our partner shop SVB we're talking about which imporant details you should pay attention to when preparing your boat for the summer season ahead.
The first trip of the year is always special. It is a good idea to prepare for it with a small checklist so that you can enjoy your time on board to the fullest from the very first day.
The work starts already a few weeks before the crane booking or from when you receive the boat from the yard: is your motorboat and sailing clothing in good condition? What is the situation with the life jackets? Above all, the batteries for the personal locator beacons or radios in the life jackets should be checked before every water sport season. If complete servicing of life jackets is necessary, you can simply send them to SVB for servicing. Life rafts can also be inspected there.
✔ Personal equipment ✔ Nautical charts for the season ✔ Clothing suitable for water sports with UV protection
Tips for everyone who wants to enjoy the season carefree.
For a carefree season start on your BAVARIA yacht, it is worth drawing up a short list of spare parts before the start of the season. This list should include, along with order numbers, the descriptions and sizes of all filters and other consumables on board. While original spare parts are delivered quickly via the SVB shop, it's always a good idea to have spares at hand. During the season, this stock on board can be topped up again after a holiday without needing to wait in a harbour for a package.
Preparations after winter storage, step by step
1. Organising the crane yourself
The spring check starts in the boat before the crane booking. If repairs are necessary, they are mostly easier on land. For this purpose, inspect the boat from bow to stern and make a note of everything you notice. Particular attention should be given to parts that are subjected to heavy loads, for example the boarding rail brackets. If they are bent, replacement is worthwhile not only for the appearance: hairline cracks in the bends often weaken the brackets!
For sailing yachts, a careful visual inspection of the rigging forms an essential part of the preparation. Once the mast is erected on deck, repairs will be significantly more difficult: are all fittings correctly fastened? Are there signs of hairline cracks or wear? The more carefully you undertake this check, the more relaxed you will be when the wind gets up at sea. You can order all the spare parts for the rigging online in the BAVARIA shop run by our partner SVB. By the way, there should always be a few spare shackles and turnbuckle replacements on board.
✔ Visual inspection of fittings and mast ✔ Do all halyards run freely, are the lines coiled up? ✔ Damage to halyards? ✔ Fit antenna and dogvane ✔ Enough spare parts available?
Checking running and standing rigging...
as well as fittings before the season.
Once all repair work has been undertaken, the engine is checked: impellers should be replaced once per season, diesel filters should also be renewed and, of course, the oil level, cooling water level and tension on the V‐belt must be correct. A look in the tank with a torch will show whether bacterial sludge has formed in the diesel during the winter. If slimy lumps are to be seen, the tank must be completely drained and cleaned. Even on the short journey from the crane to the mooring, bacterial contamination can cause engine failure. The first day on board then ends unnecessarily hectically with the loss of power somewhere in the harbour basin.
✔ Batteries charged? ✔ Oil level ✔ Replace filter and impeller ✔ Tank inspection ✔ Open cooling water sea cock
Immediately before the BAVARIA yacht is moved to the crane, all sea water cocks should be closed, except for the engine cooling water. For lifting with the crane, fasten two long lines to the bow and stern and use them to control the movement of the boat; then briefly moor the boat using these lines while fitting the mast to the deck.
Once in the water, make a quick check for water entering the boat. Pay particular attention to the cooling water pipe on the engine. Then you can untie the lines for the first journey of the season and drive the boat to the mooring.
Crane operations are always exciting. Enjoy a moment there with the lapping water, slight roll and the seagulls before continuing with the rigging and making the boat ready for sea.
Before craning into the water, do not forget...
fenders and mooring lines.
Ready for sea in an afternoon
On the way to the mooring, the engine has automatically had its first function check. A further look at the engine is now worthwhile.
✔ Are there drips anywhere? ✔ Are the filters still tight? ✔ Open all other sea cocks and check hoses ✔ Function check on WC and wash basin
Sailing yachts - trimming mast
While the crane team erects the mast, they will not trim it. The work at the mooring mostly starts with evenly tensioning all shrouds and stays, and obtaining a slight curvature aft using the backstay.
It is also necessary to make the cable connections at the base of the mast. Radio antenna, anemometer, lighting. The cables are routed through the cable conduit below deck and simply connected to the corresponding mating connectors.
Then the sails are rigged. Here, particular attention must be paid to the pulleys on the forestay and in the mast on your BAVARIA. If they run smoothly and there are signs of wear on the lines or sheet ropes, maintenance or replacement is necessary. The SVB shop offers a wide range of halyards and sheet ropes for BAVARIA yachts.
At the end of the day with the crane, undertake a functional check on the electronics and any other equipment; then it is time for the first sundowner of the season in the cockpit.
Check the sails and the furling system…
and then enjoy the first cruise of the season.
2. Have the yard organise the craning process and receiving your BAVARIA yacht at the jetty
Of course, all these steps can be undertaken by specialized companies, they are usually also included in the package booked with a winter storage yard. In this situation, the boat should be lying rigged at the jetty almost ready to go on your first visit and invite you to set sail. Nevertheless, it is worth spending half a day checking the work of the professionals: is the mast correctly trimmed, has the oil been topped up? Are the reef lines laid correctly? This acceptance check does not take long, but could save you unpleasant surprises later.
No yard will check your personal equipment: is the on‐board first‐aid kit complete? Is other safety equipment in order or is it necessary to replace life‐saving equipment, horns or the lifeline on the stern? What about an emergency bag with sail tape and tools?
During the first evening on board, it is also worth considering as to whether you would like to install additional amenities in the upcoming season. In the BAVARIA shop, SVB offers not only original spare parts, but also many other articles related to water sport: from sea sacks to dinghies to hygiene products for using the on‐board shower while anchored.