Preparing to Leave Your Boat

Preparation for Leaving Your Boat Unattended

 KANDARIK hauled out for 9 months in Praia Da Vittoria, Terceira, Azores.  Note the Spanish Windlass of lines around the jack stands in case of earthquakes.  Yes, we cleaned the bottom and repainted with anti fouling before we launched the next spring.

KANDARIK hauled out for 9 months in Praia Da Vittoria, Terceira, Azores.  Note the Spanish Windlass of lines around the jack stands in case of earthquakes.  Yes, we cleaned the bottom and repainted with anti fouling before we launched the next spring.

Several times over the years we have been far from our home, and yearned to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving with our family in Florida.  This became a very important part of our voyaging, to keep the home fires burning!

In order to leave KANDARIK somewhere safe and secure, we would try to plan a place where we could leave her, on the hard, without any worry.  After all, KANDARIK is as much a family member as those we want to be with at our home.  

With this in mind, we were very careful in finding the right place to depart for these times when we would not be near KANDARIK for sometimes weeks at a time, once for over 9 months!  

Luckily, we chose some perfect places, near airports, protected harbors, good people, and of course a place where KANDARIK would be safe without our watchful eyes!

After the first time, which was kind of traumatic for us leaving our precious boat, we made a list of things to remember to do to prepare KANDARIK for her alone.  

This list was very helpful for remembering all the little necessary things that would help protect and keep our boat in good condition when she was on her own.

Here is that list, and you can probably give me some more good ideas for the next time. I hope this helps to secure your boat and be able to return to your fresh and happy floating home.  

PREPARATION FOR LEAVING YOUR BOAT UNATTENDED  By Pam Wall

Leave on all dorade vents with screens if possible

Turn off fuel system for your stove

Fill all diesel tanks to top

Empty water tanks, leave inspection ports open

Open all cabinets

Open all floorboards

Dog all hatches

Have mildew disks in all cabins

Put jars of Kanberra Gel full up in all cabins

Cover ports and hatches with UV protective covers inside the boat

Cover all varnish on deck if possible

Take all halyards to top of mast, leave one for retrieval

Put fall of halyards in something to protect them from the sun, under dinghy if possible

Take off all possible masthead instruments

Clear deck of all that you can and stow below deck

Make sure everything stowed below is very dry with no salt on it

Take down all sails, flake, and stow below

Close all thru hulls

Turn off all electrical current if possible

Leave batteries fully charged if AGM’s or Gel Cells

Wet batteries will require a trickle charger like solar panels

Leave all cushions on an angle so air can circulate around them

Take off any food that will spoil, leave any dry food in Zip Lock bags

Make sure bilge is clean and sweet

Take off and stow all dodgers and bimini top

Tie anything off that may move in the wind

If possible run fresh water through the engine, mist engine air intakes before turning off for the last time with Fogging Spray

Cover winches with winch covers if possible

Cover hatches from outside if possible

Make sure boat is shored up so deck and cockpit scuppers drain properly

Clean out and leave open refrigerator

Lock rudder or tie off tiller

Take off any carpets from cabin sole

Leave a bunch of roach motels in various areas

Clean out head thoroughly flush with fresh water and head cleaner last flush

Leave holding tank clean and empty and sweet

Lash dinghy on deck

Leave key or combination with someone responsible with your phone number

Make sure there are NO deck leaks through mast, hatches, stantions, etc

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