Decommissioning our boat
12 Jul 2018

Decommissioning our boat

Post by Brentsica

It’s been a week since we tucked away our gal for the cruising season. We left her in Green Cove Springs, FL We chose this marina for several reasons; affordable, long term storage, a do-it-yourself boat yard, and it’s located 25 miles inland with less exposure to storm winds and surge. We scheduled our haul out with GCS about two weeks out and took advantage of our time on the ICW to clean, organize, and order supplies. Before we knew it, it was time to mark the travel lift straps…talk about haul out jitters, what if this thing breaks and our 26,000 lb baby gets dropped!? Our haul out crew was very helpful and friendly!

Leaving our boat on the hard was not only a sad day for us, we spent 190 days aboard, but an incredibly detailed process that involves a lot more than just cleaning out the fridge and closing up the hatches. I think we might of went above and beyond preparing for our short term haul out but we wanted to leave (and return) with peace of mind over the next three months.

So why are we leaving the boat? The main reason is friends and family, we have lots of summer weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc that we want to be apart of. So we’ll be traveling between the east and west coast enjoying a little bit of land life for a while. With all that we’ve learned over the past few months there are several updates and work we’d like to do to the boat before taking her further. And neither of us wanted to be up against any hurricanes.


Heres the rundown of important items to take care of (not in chronological order):

  • Wash boat and hunt for leaks.
  • Fix leaks
  • Clean out ditch bag and throw away expired supplies.
  • Reprogram batteries to trickle charge, enough to run the bilge pump.
  • Drain and clean bilge, we like to add a little bit of pine sol cleaner – lemony fresh 🙂
  • Close all sea cocks but one to help drain the hull.
  • Empty and clean fridge/freezer and leave open for ventilation.
  • Clean and drain the heads. After pumping these dry we put some fresh water in to prevent the pump seals from drying out.
  • Take photos of the boat on the stands before leaving the yard.
  • Place liquid ant traps and roach bait throughout.
  • Place DampRids throughout.
  • Pack important documents and passports.
  • Leave boat paper work with office manager.
  • Clothes/shoes, this can be such a pain to move. I use this trick for all moves. Get the largest trash bags you can find, pull it around your hanging clothes from the bottom, then cinch up the top so the hangers don’t fall in.
  • Declutter and clean ever single storage compartment, we got rid of a ton of stuff we didn’t even use this season and created room for anything new for next season.
  • Heat shrink tape, we taped all the outside hatches, portholes, and our companionway. We used this tape last year during Irma when she was in the water at the marina to help with any potential water leaks and damage. It’s worked well for us!
  • Create wish list for next season, weeks before haul out we’d walk the boat and make a list of supplies to purchase and bring back with us.
  • Interior, to help prevent mold and mildew we used a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water to wipe down everything. Also recommend Concrobium cleaner which we used while storing our sheets, pillows, comforters, rugs, towels, blankets, and boat cushions into sealed vacuum bags, before sealing these we also placed some dryer sheets in between everything.
  • Store all of our sunscreen, meds, emergency kits, toiletries in large ziplock bags – we did this for two reasons, to keep dry and free from dust as well as any bugs.
  • Remove all food and perishables, we kept our canned and dry foods (rice, coffee beans, seasonings, packets) with later expiration dates on board. However, we stored them in several plastic dry food containers from Ikea to keep extra dry and protected.
  • Top off tanks, by keeping these full its less likely for contamination to happen and the your boat weighs more (add small amount of bleach to water tanks).
  • Clear the cockpit/deck, we did this last. Lines, bimini top, dodger, chairs, fenders, grill, jerry cans, cushions, etc. were brought inside and stored on our empty settees.
  • Power wash the hull after hauling out and inspect all the exterior for cracks or blisters.
  • We recently sold our dinghy so that was one less thing to store this season, on the market for a new one.
  • We have in mast furling for our main sail so that stayed as is.


Make arrangements early and be ready to get hauled quickly. Once it’s done, it’s a relief!



Cheers from the marina! 

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