San Diego isn’t known for its harsh winters. The sun shines for the majority of the year and winter is characterized mainly by cloudier, cooler days, and a little more rain than usual. That being said, while the yachting community doesn’t need to heavily winterize or store their boats like others do, there are some steps you can take to make sure your yacht makes it through the cooler months unscathed.
First, you should ensure that there are no leaks anywhere on the vessel. This may seem par for the course, but if you’re away from your boat for extended peridos of time during the winter, a leak can do some damage. Check hatches, portholes, and the bilge for any possible leaks. You don’t want water to pool inside the boat and provide a home for mold or fungi to grow.
Second, take care of your propulsion systems. Make sure your sails are furled properly, and that your lines aren’t frayed or weakened, as they can be snapped by gusts of wind. If you have an outboard motor, consider stabilizing the fuel for the winter months. If yours is an inboard, plan to run it at least a couple times during the offseason. Lastly, top up the distilled water in your lead acid batteries, if you have them.
Finally, make sure that you’ve cleared the deck and dock of anything that could be blown away by the wind or stolen. If you have a cover for your boat, make sure that it’s free of holes and not frayed or tattered in places where water could get in. It might seem early to think about winterizing (it’s still sunny and warm, and will be for a while), but it’s not too early to start planning ahead.