1. Mark the chain plates on the hull so you can tell the yard staff where to set the stands. Make sure your boat is leveled and not leaning more to one side than the other. I have experienced the hull being pushed in from one of the stands in the past. Ideally you want to rest your boat on a cradle. Earthling’s cradle is in Chicago.
2. Fill water tanks to full, add a capful of bleach to every 30 gallon tank. Fill the fuel tank and add biocide. Keeping the tanks full prevents growth in the tanks and additionally makes the boat heavier so it doesn’t fly away in case of high winds.
3. Strap the boat down, also known as chocking. Four straps should be sufficient, two at the bow and two on the stern. Chain the screw jacks together. On the straps put upside down cones which makes it difficult for rodents to go up the strap.
4. Remove all the canvas; sails, bimini, and dodger. Also uninstall the wind generator blades and solar panels. Anything that can use windage and can become loose on deck such as stanchions or a horseshoe, grill, and solar lights should be removed.
5. Put all electronics away in sealed containers or zip lock bags. If any of the electronics have batteries, remove them and put them in a sealed box. Last year the cd player was damaged from humidity, and batteries in flash lights were corroded. I’ve learned it the hard way, It’s easier to prevent than clean it up! Also put blankets, pillows, books, and anything that can mold in large sealed space bags. Apply a layer of oil on the vinyl cushions so they don’t crack.
6. Clean and dry the bilge. Put a spoon full of vegetable oil in the head, so it keeps the seals lubricated.
|Running the outboard|
8. Spray protective anti corrosion wax (CRC SP400) on the engine parts such as hose clamps, battery terminals, and anything else that can corrode.
9. Turn battery switch off, but leave the bilge pump. Keep some kind of trickle charge so batteries are topped off! I kept one of the solar panels connected on deck.
|Thru hulls covered|
11. Get rid of any flammables, dinghy gas, lighter fluid and so forth.
12. Close all sea cocks and cover it from below. Don’t cover the cockpit drainage!
13. Cover hatches and windows with canvas. Put aluminum foil on the windows from inside to avoid UV damage and heat inside the cabin.
14. Spray all locks with anti corrosion. I have had to cut at least a few locks upon return to Earthling in the past.
15. Cover or apply a layer of varnish on the exterior wood trims. On the interior wood trims apply some kind of wood oil, we use WD40.
16. Seal places that might leak, such as stanchions, tow rail, hatches, anchor carrier, and so forth. You don’t want any water inside the boat, especially since there is no ventilation. Put some kind of moisture product, humidifier in the cabin to prevent mold.
17. Do not leave any food on the boat. Give away all food including flour, grains, cans, and so forth.
|Foil in the windows|
18. Put rat poison in various hidden places.
19. Right before you leave the boat put a bug bomb in the cabin. You can not return back for hours so that’s the last thing to do. We came back to the boat in Virgin Gorda and had visitors, a family of mice that ate grains through the plastic container, drank some of the fresh water in bottles, and had a party all over the boat. Their poop was evident everywhere. Mice can chew on and destroy boat wires which can be difficult to find in case of electric failure.
20. Earthing does not have a water maker but if you do have one, it should be pickled.
If you feel there is any other important point that is missed, please feel free to advice.
Right now we are unexpectedly in Barbados. This story will be updated within the next few days.
Love from Barbados