What happens to your boat
if you leave it for the summer
in the Sea of Cortez?

This is a very good question! You will find that all the rubber will get hard and the plastic will get brittle. What that means to you is that you will end up replacing most of the rubber and plastic on your boat. The heat from the summer seems to be what causes this. It will not make a difference if it is new or old rubber. The new will last a little longer than the old but not much. Our new (new when we left) alternator belt lasted one month longer than our eleven year old water pump belt. We only left our boat for one summer, and we found that most of the rubber gaskets and hoses on the boat needed to be replaced.

This also applies to other things that are made of plastic. Kayaks are also affected by the sun and heat. Some will get brittle and shatter in two years. Some outboards have a lot of plastic, too. Ours does and so far the only part of it that is broken is the connector that you connect the fuel line to.

One thing that you may not think about is your Ritche compass. Our SP5 developed cracks on the side of the plastic dome on our first trip so I had the dome replaced before we went back. On our second trip, when we left our boat for the summer, we had no problems. Others had the dome expand and all the fluid drain out by the end of summer. Hopefully, you will notice this before you get underway. A compass cover is an essential item.

Before you leave your boat, you may want to make a list of things that you will need and then bring them back when you return in the fall. Some things will be hard to predict but remember that if you have to buy the parts in Mexico, they will be expensive. You can buy some parts in San Carlos and you can get some in La Paz. Supply is limited so you may have to look around to find something that is close to what you need.

When you leave, there will be a lot of things that you will want to do to your boat. We found that putting aluminum foil up on the portholes kept the inside of the boat cooler. For portholes you can put the foil on the inside but do not do this on hatches. If you put the foil on the inside of hatches, the heat will build up and get too hot to touch in about five minutes. You need to put the foil on the outside of the hatch. I used a double layer of foil and I made an X on the foil with duct tape to keep it from ripping. I tied a small line around the grove between the hatch and the boat to keep it on. Just make sure not to place the duct tape on the boat. The glue on the tape will be every hard to get off by the end of summer. You will also want to plug all the through hulls on your boat. Some insects like to build homes in the holes. There are a lot of things to do to get your boat ready for summer storage. If you talk to others that are getting their boat ready, you can compare notes to see what you think you need to do. There is also a list of things to do at www.marinasancarlos.com. They have a list of things to do to your boat. Check on the Dry Storage page. They also have pictures to show you what it is like.