Mid Winter Checks


Tis the season to be jolly – tis also the season where general maintenance is most important as visits the boat are less frequent and the weather is cold and wet.

Here are some tips for what to check:

  • Replace any cables or junction boxes that show any signs of wear, damage or overload


    • Carefully check all electrical connections to ensure they are tight and secure against vibration, check fuses and fuse holders to ensure fuses are secure and making good contact with the cables and fuse holder.


  • Winter is a good time to asses all circuits on board, has additional equipment been added which may now overload the original fuse or cable? If in doubt, get the local qualified engineer to check and either redistribute load or install correct cabling and fusing to safely support and protect the electrical load.
  • If the mast is being un-stepped, remove mast head unit and store safely. Protect MHU plugs at mast head to prevent water ingress. Label and bag the loose cable at the base of mast to prevent water damage.


    • Check the VHF antenna and cable/plugs/connections.  If poor, remake.  If the antenna is 7-10 years old consider replacing them.  It’s easier to pull the new cable through the mast and fit the antenna when the mast is in the mast rack.  If in doubt, ask a dealer to check SWR reading. (Ideally before mast is un-stepped).


  • Check all electronic/electrical items that may need service and don’t leave it to the day you relaunch your vessel to contact your local dealer or supplier for service.
  • Consider electronic chart card updates for the next season.  Contact your supplier or manufacturer and do not leave to the last minute.
  • Go online and check for manufacturers sw updates.  There could be enhancements or new features at no extra costs.



When all this is done, go home and have a well deserved drink in the front of the fire to warm up.


From everyone at the BMEEA, we wish you the merriest of Christmases.

Season’s Greetings!

Winterising your boat’s Electrics and Electronics

With winter upon us we have some tips to help prepare your boat for the months ahead:

  • Where possible, remove batteries and keep them warm and dry over the winter – if you are unable to do this, ask your local approved and qualified marine electrician to do this, ( for a list of BMEEA members able to assist please visit the member locator)
  • Keep batteries fully charged or topped up at least every couple of months. Batteries left uncharged for long periods may need to be replaced completely. If you’re unable to remove batteries or if the boat is staying on its mooring, leave them fully topped up and regularly recharged, as full batteries are less likely to freeze in sub-zero temperatures.
  • Damp is the enemy of every electrical and electronic system, ensure the boat is well ventilated or installed with a dehumidifier.
  • Equipment left unused for extended periods of time can become erratic in operation due to damp affecting switch contacts, internal circuit boards, signal processors or even computer chips, so regular power up checks and operation during extended idle periods can help maintain correct operation
  • Switch contacts can accumulate Verdigris over extended idle periods and this can create high resistance connections or even complete isolation of switch contacts. Regular operation of the switches can slow down the deterioration of switch contact surfaces.
  • Do not spray the switch gear with corrosion inhibitors, this can leave a residue which effectively isolates the contact surfaces and creates a malfunctioning switch.
  • Carefully check all cables and Junction boxes to ensure the cable insulation is not damaged, cables are secured to bulkheads and not showing any signs of chafing, ensure all junction boxes are securely mounted and correctly sealed and no cables or junction boxes are mounted such that they remain submerged for extended periods of time.

If you have any other tips or questions, please let us know!