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Prepare the wintering of your semi-rigid boat

Prepare the wintering of your semi-rigid boat

What is winterization?

Winterizing a boat - of any kind - consists in carrying out a series ofmaintenance operations on itbefore storing it during the winter, and thus protecting it properly against cold, frost, and other bad weather.

This is an essential routine in the life cycle of your boat, especially if you have a Zodiac type boat. In fact, semi-rigid boats are the most sensitive to winter.

Winterization must be done properly, and requires a certain investment in time and energy if you want to maintain your semi-rigid inflatable boat at its best, and to guarantee its good functioning and performance at the time of launching.

So, in this article, Orca Retail proposes to review all the steps necessary for the proper winterization of your RIB.


1. Empty your boat

There are several good reasons why we as boat owners should empty our boats before wintering.

First of all, it ensures that nothing gets lost or stolen while your boat is in storage. Also, you may need some of this equipment when you are not out and about.

Secondly, this is the ideal opportunity to take an inventory of your equipment, and in particular to check its state of wear and tear and therefore to plan replacements so as not to be caught short next season. Who knows, you may even find items you thought were lost!

Finally, emptying your boat allows you to protect it and its equipment during the movements necessary to move your RIB into its shed or storage room.

Also take the opportunity to rinse and clean everything that can be rinsed, whether it is sports equipment (masks, fins, snorkels, wakeboard, fishing rods), electronic (GPS, VHF), safety (life jackets, buoys, flares, fire extinguishers ...), or other.


2. Maintenance of saddlery and batteries

These are the pieces that can suffer the most during the winter, being sensitive to cold and humidity. Remove them and store them in a dry place.

Here again, it's an opportunity to pamper these parts of your boat, especially the upholstery, which you can clean and maintain with the appropriate products. As for the battery, this is the opportunity to recharge it !

If you can't disconnect your battery from your RIB, try to check it anyway and recharge it once a month. Batteries that are too discharged wear out faster.


3. Winterization of the engine

If you can, remove your engine. But before you do, don't forget to do the maintenance steps for your engine: flush it with fresh water, change the oil and fuel.

Now you have to deal with the parts of your engine.

  • The propeller: remove it to check its condition and to grease the shaft.
  • Spark plugs: check to see if they need to be changed.
  • Baseplate draining: drain your gearbox every 100 hours of sailing.
  • Anodes: as with spark plugs, inspect them and change them if necessary.
  • The fuel system: clean or change the engine system filter and drain the carburetor bowl.
  • The thrower rope: check that it is still strong.
  • Other parts and joints: to be greased.


4. Cleaning

Now you have to clean the whole of your RIB boat. This starts with the fairing.

Boat careening consists of cleaning the boat's hull and applying several layers ofantifouling toprevent oxidation. Clean with a sponge and maintenance products before rinsing (preferably with a karcher). Once clean and dry, apply your layers of antifouling on the hull.

For the rest of the cleaning of your boat, see our dedicated article " How to maintain your semi-rigid boat ". We also describe all the steps, products and equipment needed to take care of all the parts of your RIB: hull, floats, deck, but also engine.

This is also when you can deflate and look at the condition of your floats. If you see wear and tear or want to change their appearance, consider our cut-to-fit boat repair fabrics!


5. Storage

Your boat is now ready for the last step, storage. Find a suitable location so that during the winter your boat will be protected:

  • UV radiation
  • of the cold
  • of humidity
  • the acidity of the rain
  • various pollutions

Choose a closed and dry place (garage, warehouse) and cover your boat with its cover or a winter tarp.

Be careful, it is important to let air circulate in order to avoid mold. This is especially true if you have closets or storage space: it is advisable to leave them open.



You want to call a professional for the wintering of your RIB boat?

Check out our website page dedicated to our partner network of boat repairers, or our blog posts by department or by region to find out where to service your Zodiac near you.


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