S/V Hello World's Travel Log

Winter decommissioning

I know you all have been wondering "well jeez Christy, if we leave our boat in Alaska, what would we have to do to get it ready for that cold, hard winter?"

Don't despair, Christy and Jason are here with our winter decommissioning list! Special thanks to Wayne and Betty for forwarding on their list, without which we might have forgotten a lot of stuff.

You can breathe a big, giant sigh of relief now...here you go :)

  • Pull off running rigging
  • Sign up for boat watching service
    • Interview candidates
    • Decide on checklist
  • Remove stern anchor and rode - store in anchor locker
  • Move chain to top of anchor locker
  • Grease windlass
  • Look into shrinkwrap options
  • Get insurance approval
  • Clean deck
  • Chafe gear on all dock lines
  • Gardenhose flush the scuppers
  • Clean canvas
  • Washdown anchor/chain with fresh water
  • Clean anchor locker out
  • Stow dinghy on deck
  • Remove all misc items from deck (jerry cans, crab traps, etc)
  • Fill fuel tank
    • Add biocide
  • Winterize inboard engine
    • change engine oil and transmission oil
    • blow out raw water
    • close through-hull
  • Turn on utilities
  • Stow all sails
    • Main - tie down
    • Jib and Staysail - remove and stow
  • Winterize outboard engine
    • drain gas
    • blow out raw water
    • tef-gel on handles
    • stow down below
  • Empty holding tank
  • Put plastic bags on winches and windlass
  • Winterize bilge
    • clean out bilge
    • put a layer of RV antifreeze in the bilge
    • turn the bilge pump on to draw in the antifreeze
  • Remove dodger and bimini canvas
  • Add helm cover
  • Remove portable GPS
  • Book flight out!
  • Stow dinghy gas can and oars
  • Stow canned food below waterline, in plastic
  • Clean diesel heater and replace chimney with cap
  • Set up utilities on autopay
  • Hardware store:
    • RV antifreeze
    • sandbags for companionway
    • tarps
  • Clean the boat
  • Drain both water tanks
  • Winterize:
    • washdown pump
    • fwd head sink drain
    • fwd head inlet
    • fwd shower drain
    • aft head inlet
    • aft head outlet
    • aft shower drain
    • galley sink drain
    • freshwater pump
    • hot/cold faucets in galley, aft head, fwd head
    • hot water heater
    • freshwater foot pump
  • Winterize watermaker
    • through-hull to boost pump
    • boost pump to membrane
    • membrane to watertank
    • hot water heater to carbon filter
  • Clean out and turn off fridge (pull fuse and leave open)
  • Clean the finger pier
  • Hang cockpit enclosure/dodger/bimini panels in salon
  • Move sails into salon
  • Move cockpit seat pads into salon
  • Open all doors/cabinets
    • Pull off doors in starboard side hanging locker
    • Open vanity locker door
    • Pull off hatches from settee lockers
  • Close propane canisters
  • Lock cockpit locker
  • Remove cushions from side of hull and cover with tarp
    • master bed
    • quarterberth bed
    • settees
    • nav desk
  • Take out garbage
  • Install wood hatchboards
  • Put all remaining clothes in a garbage bag
  • Put sheets, pillows and linens in garbage bag
  • Batteries
    • Check water
    • Double check that both switches are open on the batteries
    • Check starting battery voltage
  • Verify electrical
    • DC panel is off
    • only outlets and charger are on on 120V AC panel
    • fridge fuse is pulled
    • bilge pump is working
  • Close all through-hulls
  • Take photos of winterization
  • Run oil radiator heater, dehumidifier and fans
  • Leave extra antifreeze for boatwatcher to add to bilge if necessary


There we were, winterizing the boat in Wrangell and Jason basically gets a job offer (and not any job offer - the PERFECT job offer), just dumped in his lap.

(Jason as a happily unemployed cruiser)

Did he send out one resume?

Did he even need to interview for said perfect job?

He just needed to get his butt to this job, and get there fast. They wanted him to start about 4 days after the "offer".

This was a perfect storm of a job: his exact skills, a greenfield project (meaning he doesn't have to fix other people's mistakes), a contract for 6 months, starting exactly when we wanted to start work. The only catch, you ask? It was in Charlotte.

(Sad, employed Jason)

So we found a furnished apartment on Craigslist (it turns out to be lovely, which was a relief since we saw it for the first time when we moved in), and off we moved to a town to which neither of us had ever been. Adventure!

Our "plan" is to head out in the spring and move back on the boat and take her back south...but as always, our plans are written in the sand, below the high tide line.

And here we are, just like regular ol' working stiffs. It is nice to see the bank account numbers go up every month. Oh, and did I mention we have a washer, dryer and full size fridge freezer? And if any of it breaks, we don't have to fix it!!

This apartment living thing is pretty cushy. :)