Laying up for the Winter

We are always very precise when it comes to laying up for the winter – over the years it has proven to be well invested time as we have never yet had a problem when we return to our boat in the Spring. We have developed a lay-up workplan that we follow with the tasks divided between us and it normally takes us two weeks to complete, partly in the water and partly after lifting on land.

We were lifted on 25th and as usual all was well with the hull and the anti-fouling – the Coppercoat never ceases to amaze us every time we are lifted and inspect the bottom at the end of the season!

This year we were short on time due to the weather issues and delays we have had getting back to Preveza. We don’t have any intention of skipping anything though – it just means we have to work longer days! We had already started with as much as possible while laying in the bay in Lefkada but we hit the ground running for sure on arrival at Cleopatra!

Its great to be back “home” and our long working days are rewarded each evening with a fabulous meal at the local taverna “Panos” – they are used to our late finishing times and make sure we always have some good food to round off our days.

All the machinery is winterised – the engine, the water-maker, generator and air-conditioning units and we run anti-freeze through the systems as the Ionian can get very cold in the winter. Everything on deck is cleaned and removed – from sails, to spinlocks, lines, accessories, canvas, seats, steering wheels. We stow everything inside the cabin and have custom-made canvas covers for all the windows, winches and exposed teak. The only lines which remain on the boat are the never ending furling line – which is pretty impossible to remove – and the halyards up the mast. All the lines are washed and dried thoroughly.

The interior is cleaned back to new – walls are washed and polished, lockers are emptied and cleaned out, the oven is removed from its gimble and spotlessly cleaned and even the black water tank is opened and cleaned back to new by hand and with a special adapter for our jet-wash.

The stainless steel is polished and cover in protective coating, the dinghy is lowered and chocked below the boat then covered with tarpaulin to protect it. The outboard is left with the service centre at the marina for service over the winter. All the fenders are cleaned, partially deflated and stored in the lazarette.

The lazarette itself is fully cleaned with the washing machine, freezer and ice-maker being completely cleaned out and dried inside. All the stock in the boat is counted and recorded so we know exactly what we need to buy next year.

It’s a hard job but Liberation is always left like new when we leave – even though our colleagues around the marina think we are crazy 🙂 This year we ran right up to the deadline and ended up taking the laundry home with us in the motor-home as there simply wasn’t enough time to finish and dry it. We left with just minutes to spare to catch our overnight ferry at Igoumenitsa ….. both absolutely shattered!

The overnight ferry from Igoumenitsa to Bari on 28th October marks the final end to this summer – it’s time to get back to the non-stop work of the winter and we are sadly leaving Liberation and Greece behind. Can’t wait to get back!

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