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Winterizing - below deck

Remove gear and other items, including cushions, linens, navigation gear and electronics. This will allow you to clean the interior properly.

Empty the refrigerator, freezer and any other food storage areas. Clean the refrigerator and freezer using a solution of bleach and water. Leave the door ajar to allow air to circulate.

All surfaces that may have come into contact with food or drink should be thoroughly cleaned with a fungicidal agent such as Lysol, or a bleach solution to prevent mold and mildew.

Take pots, pans, dishes and cutlery home and run them through the dishwasher. Clean the stove and oven, then the rest of galley area, including cabinetry.

Work your way through the interior, removing and cleaning as you go.

Remember to clean the head and rinse with warm, soapy water with some lanolin added to help preserve the rubber seals. If there is a strong odor in the head, it could be caused by the intake line. Organisms in seawater can die in the intake line causing a foul smell. The source of a smelly head also can be leaking pipe connections, bad seals in the head pump, a blocked valve in the vented loop, or the holding tank - especially if it's plastic. You might want to have the boatyard address this over the winter.

Once the interior is clean, leave all doors ajar so air can circulate, and make sure all seacocks are turned off so rodents can't enter a through-hull. Be sure rodents cannot get in through any vents, either.

Return to The Soundings Boat Shop Complete Guide to Winterizing.