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How to get your Boathouse ready for the winter

Pumpkins, coloured trees everywhere and coffee shops offering every possible drink with pumpkin spice, sound familiar? Signs that … read more

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Pumpkins, coloured trees everywhere and coffee shops offering every possible drink with pumpkin spice, sound familiar? Signs that we’re not only getting closer to the end of the year but for most rowers, that’s also the sign that it’s soon the time for indoor rowing. So let’s have a look at how to get your boathouse, boats and equipment ready for the winter.

In- and outside of the boathouse 

  • Make sure all the equipment is really stored where it belongs.
  • Everything outside like benches, awnings whatever you can see is secured and clean.
  • Make sure, that you put a sign outside, that the docks are for the rowing club and can be used only at your risk (in case the docks are open for the public).
  • If you don’t use your boathouse during the winter at all, make sure the water is turned off and the pipes are empty (otherwise a nasty surprise could await you when you come back).
  • Check safety equipment like life jackets for rips and if all straps are still working.
  • Check your first aid kits, if they are still filled with every necessary.
Boatshouse ready winter
How to get your Boathouse ready for the winter – inside and outside of the boathouse

Plan the maintenance in advance and make it public (so everybody is aware of the different steps you’re taking, and hopefully, it’s not only you who is involved)

Now is the time to check boats and oars. We all know most of the maintenance is not done during the season. We are all busy rowing and living life. November is the perfect time to get these tasks done (at least if you’re north of the equator and can expect ice and snow soon).


  • Now is the best time for boat repairs. No one is really rushed and you have enough time especially if the repairs are more complicated.
  • Check the hulls of the boats for scratches or small crushes that went unnoticed during the rowing season. All kinds of damage to the hull can lead to more problems in the future when you’re not taking care of it now.
  • Check the riggers, seats and shoes, and clean them thoroughly.
  • If you row in saltwater, it’s good to really scrub every part of the boat.
  • Check the batteries and bulbs of your electrical equipment like lamps.


  • Check your oars for hairline cracks in the shaft and oars. Sometimes impacts can cause small cracks. They’re easy to repair when they’re still small.
  • Clean all the oars and handles. Especially the handles had to deal with sweat and water all season. Have a look at what the oar manufacturer suggests. But similar to boats now it’s the time for proper cleaning and inspection.

Did we forget something here? Let us and others know!


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