Keep your pride and joy safe and sound this winter


Sub zero temperatures inevitably bring insurance claims for damage caused by split pipes. Normally it is water systems, (hot and cold) that can be exposed, but any pipe with static fresh water in is potentially at risk and engines can also be vulnerable if not properly winterised.

UK boat insurers Navigators and General have the following advice:

If the water remains frozen any damage may not be immediately obvious, but there remains the risk of substantial water damage, or even a sinking when it thaws at a later date, sometimes only upon launch.

The other potential risk is that frost damage may not even later be identified as the cause which could make it difficult to make a claim under the policy.

Whist the Navigators & General policy covers frost damage, not all other policies do, so insurance protection is not guaranteed.

Owners should take the following precautions to try and minimise the risk presented by these freezing conditions:

  • Ensure that hot water, heating and drinking systems are drained down
  • Ensure that engines, and any other water cooled machinery is winterised as per manufactures recommendations
  • For inland waterways boats try to expel as much of the raw water from the cooling system as possible
  • Ensure that upon re-launch all water systems are checked thoroughly for free flowing water and no leaks

With more cold weather forecast it is never too late to carry out these preventative measures, or ask your local yard or engineers to do it for you.