Before the marina hauls and winterizes your boat, there are many jobs that you, the boat owner, can perform. Most marinas will look after the motors and water systems, but they won’t do some of these more detailed jobs.
Make a List
On all boats, either during your last cruise or your last days in the harbor prior to haul out, make a written list of all the repairs that either you are going to do or you are going to leave for the marina to do like gauges that are non-operative, taps that leak, upholstery nicks that need to be sewn, snaps that are pulled off the canvas, woodwork that needs to be refinished, motor tune ups, etc.
Eliminate Nesting Material
There are many items on board the boat that should be removed for the winter so they don’t freeze, rot or attract animals. You should box up and take home all the food and drink containers, all the bedding, towels and clothing. If not taken home, they can be stored in large sealed plastic bins with snap on lids. Also remove any of the kids toys that they may want over the wintertime.
Also remember to take home anything that is made of paper because mice and birds love making nests out of tissues, toilet paper and paper towels–even synthetic chamois. It doesn’t hurt to set a few mouse traps just for insurance.
For sailboats, there are a few additional jobs that should be tackled before haul out. They include removing and washing the sails, hanging them to dry and packing them up to take home.
Depending on whether the marina is going to do it or you are going to do it, you want to un-step the mast, inspect all the running and standing rigging and make notes of items to be repaired or replaced.