The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. The clocks have gone back again lulling us into a false sense of security with that ‘extra hour’ in bed… It must be that time of year again.
The beginning of winter, and laying up your boat.
But what does “Laying Up” mean?
Laying up or “winterisation” is the process of preparing your boat to withstand the winter weather. Although winters in the UK haven’t been as extreme in recent years as they were in the past, this is still an important part of your boat maintenance in order to prevent damage and ensure a smooth, problem-free, and worry-free return to sailing come spring-time.
So, where do you start?
Here at Gael Force, we have a wide range of products for all your boating winterisation requirements but spending all that time searching for the right products for this process can be time-consuming. To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 products for laying up your boat this year:
1. Starbrite Non-Toxic Premium Anti-Freeze – £7.95
Starbrite’s anti-freeze is perfect for providing cold weather and corrosion protection for your water systems and engines, preventing them from freezing up during storage. It is safe and effective for use on aluminium, copper, brass, and all types of plastic without compromising rubber, seals, or hose materials, making it incredibly versatile and useful. This anti-freeze provides burst protection to -46 degrees Celsius and freeze protection ranging from -11 degrees to -9 degrees Celsius. And even better, it’s ready to use immediately – no dilution required!
2. Hylite Slimline Tube Heater with Thermostat – from £26.95
Hylite’s Tube Heater is a great addition to your boat to ensure good air circulation in enclosed spaces and assists with preventing condensation and dampness. This choice is low power at 240v and slimline with an energy saving thermostat which can be left on the boat. It can be fitted using the brackets provided, either by mounting them on the wall or on the floor. It is fitted with a UK plug and IP44 rated for water resistance. Take your pick from a 0.5, 1.0 or 1.5-metre cable to suit your needs.
Protect your tube heater with Hylite’s Heater Guard.
3. CT1‘s Sealant – £12.00
CT1 can successfully bond metal, glass, wood, polystyrene, mirrors, and almost any material, making it a must-have for this time of year for any boat maintenance. Its unique adhesion can be used in most applications without the need for any additional fixings. It is resistant to chemicals, to UV and fungal growth while maintaining environmental compliance. It can be painted, does not shrink and is odourless. Most importantly, it works in wet or dry conditions.
4. Pela Oil Extractor Pump – from £37.99
This oil extractor pump allows for quick, clean, and easy oil extraction. Depending on the size, it only takes 5 to 25 pumps in a row to create a powerful vacuum to drain the oil from your diesel or outboard engine neatly into the sturdy container. The calibrated walls easily allow you to see how much oil has been removed. A pour spout is included with the pump to assist with emptying the oil and the pump is removable for easy storage. A simple and effective solution to winterising your engine. Choose the capacity of your pump for the size of the job – 2.5 litres, 4 litres, 6 litres, or 14 litres.
5. Starbrite Sail & Canvas Cleaner – £9.99
This handy little product is specially formulated to get rid of dirt, grease and stains from both natural and synthetic fabrics, including sails and boat covers. Easily applied once diluted, the solution does not weaken fabric or thread. The perfect product for ensuring your sail is spotless after a busy season.
6. Coker Mooring Compensator – from £9.99
Also known as “rubber snubbers”, Coker’s mooring compensators are designed for use on 18mm-28mm rope (hole size ranging 20mm-30mm) and reduce boat movement at a mooring or on a marina berth. They are sturdy, constructed from natural rubber, and are resilient to sea-water, sunlight, and weather, meaning it’ll take the strain in bad weather conditions and you won’t have to worry about it when it’s docked for the winter.
7. Polyform F-Series Fenders – from £14.50
Fenders absorb the kinetic energy of your boat berthing against a jetty and prevent damage to vessels and berthing structures. Just like the mooring compensators, fenders are important for taking the hit in bad weather conditions so your boat doesn’t have to! These heavy-duty fenders come in a range of sizes to suit your vessel and have high abrasive resistance and energy absorption. They’re also tested in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees to +60 degrees Celsius so you know they’ll withstand all weathers.
8. Aquazorb’s Water Free Cell – from £25.50
This product’s name is self-explanatory – it separates and extracts water from fuels in tank bottoms meaning you’ll have water-free oil. It is suitable for use with diesel fuel, petrol fuel, kerosene, and heating oils. A 5 metre metallic woven anti-static retrieval line and metal bar to keep the fuel cell on the bottom of the tank are included. The cell can be removed and replaced to monitor the progress of water removal. To see this invaluable product in action, check out this video.
9. OML Volcano Outboard Motor Lock – £44.99
Made in the UK and from high grade 316 stainless steel, this bolt lock is one of the best in the marine market. It is built to resist criminal tube jemmying as the smart cone shape design makes it difficult for offenders to strike hard and awkward to grip with a huge wrench. This is what you want from a lock when ensuring your expensive outboard is safe over the winter. Suitable for use with most Suzuki, Honda, and Tohatsu engines.
10. Starbrite Fogging Oil – £8.99
Excellent for use on outboard marine engines, this fogging oil uses a special formula which makes starting your engine quick and easy after it has been in storage. It will also protect the cylinder walls, piston rings, and other combustion chamber surfaces from rust and corrosion when it is in storage. It’s the perfect multi-functional product to ensure the smooth running of your engine.
BONUS PRODUCT: Antifouling
Take advantage of our clearance sale of International Antifouling while it lasts! Why not get it cheap now so you’re all set to use it to protect your boat when the season begins again?
For a further list of products suitable for this process, visit our dedicated webpage.