I have decided to winterise my Jeanneau 51 on the hard this year due to excessive fouling whilst left afloat.
Unfortunately the boatyard is in a region that abounds with wildlife, and it is not unknown for owners to return to find nests under winter covers and boom ends. I am also concerned about vermin and insects that could possibly enter via through hull fittings.
Obviously I intend taking as many precautions as possible, I always left my previous boat with seacocks closed and rags stuffed into through hull fittings except of course the deck and cockpit drains. However, this new boat has more holes in the hull than I care to count, many being very small and above the waterline.
My idea was to cover all of these with duck tape whilst being careful to keep the tape on the chrome fitting so next year I can clean off any glue with acetone, the bigger below waterline fittings can be raged.
I would be interest to hear others views and wether they have an alternative idea to taping the holes.
Touch wood the only problem I have had is with bats that take shelter in the Bimini when that is folded into its bag. One also fell from the main sail onto the deck during an unfurling one time! They leave on their own accord.
I have seen birds nests on may occasions in the boom end on other boats and many seem to fill the gap with an empty water bottle to prevent it..
Those that leave their anchor chain on the ground instead of inside the locker also place bottles on the chain to stop rats and mice climbing up.
Last year one of my helpers left a sail bag on the grass next to the boat and when he came to put it below I noticed a cockroach on it, which would not have been good to leave onboard over the winter, or any time. These nasty little creatures like to lay their eggs onto cardboard so we have a rule that no cardboard is left on the boat for any length of time and the same applies to food stuffs like breakfast cereal, biscuits, etc. It either gets put into air tight, plastic containers or ditched.
All food removed apart from some tins and bottles with long shelf-life, nothing left for bugs to eat. We spray cockroach killer around limber holes in the bilge before leaving the boat for winter storage. Vents are all fitted with insect screens.
Birds are an issue in the yard and we see nests all the time in other boats. We wrap the boom ends in cling film as it is easy to stretch over odd shapes and holes. Some duct tape is wrapped around the cling film to provide more strength. The duct tape is wrapped around to overlap and sticks to itself. Easy to remove in spring as the cling film doesn't leave any adhesive residue on the item being protected (boom, exhaust, etc.).
Cling film underneath duct tape should solve most of your problems. Certainly very messy if you just put duct tape directly on the metal surfaces.
Never thought of cling film, sounds a good idea, thank you.
However, regarding the “incest” screens, we don’t have any problems relating to sexual activity among family members so have swapped them out for insect screens, ( just pulling your leg, amazing how spelling checkers and fat fingers can sometimes get us into trouble )