Do the following, if for some reason you have decided to sell your boat but don't really want to.
From the bow:
1. After the last cruise of the season, make sure your anchor and rode have the mud, that you collected after your last anchoring, left on the rode and do not coil the rode just leave it crumpled up and mudcaked in the anchor locker. (If the anchor is rusty, all the better)
Never clean your anchor locker!!
2. Make sure your lines are wet and improperly stowed for the winter. If they have a bit of tatter on the edges that will be satisfactory.
3. Under no circumstances should you polish the stainless and aluminum stanchions and railings.
4. Leave all the dirt collected after shrink wrapping or storage on the cockpit sole.
5. It would be preferable to leave the salt spray on the isinglass with a bit of mold showing on the underside of your bimini. If you have taken your canvas and glass down, make sure you roll or preferably scrunch into a big ball and leave on the forward bunk for the winter. Make sure it has begun to yellow so it can be used to match up with your golf pants..
6. Never empty your lazarette, make sure you leave all the moldy life jackets and extra lines in there. If possible fill it completely to the top so the bottom portion cannot be inspected. An alternative to this would be to leave just enough STUFF in the lazarette so the bottom could be seen and visually inspected. If you choose this option then make sure one of the items (preferably more) was left wet at the end of the season.
7. Shrinkwrapping for winter is not the way to go. Purchase an extra large blue tarp and tie it with a SMALL easily breakable line. A better way to go would be to purchase several small tarps and tie them together to make one large one. Be sure to tie these together with a small diameter line.n Oh, make sure you secure all the strapping to the poppits to heighten the chance that you will loosen two or three of them up during the winter blow. (The more flapping around the better.)
8. Always leave some water in the bilge. This promotes the always desirable mold/bacteria growth smell that is necessary for success.
9. Never completely flush your head. Always leave a small bit of liquid in the bottom of the commode in order to fully complete the aforementioned bacteria creation.
10. Never remove your cushions for the winter, place your cockpit cushions (preferably slightly damp) on top of the salon and cabin cushions.
11. Make sure your port light windows have a slight leak to them. The streaks that are created on the vinyl or carpet liner on the inside of the boat should be left alone and allowed to deepen in order to show the prospective client exactly where the leak is emanating.
12. Make sure all your cupboards, compartments and all storage areas are as full as you can make them. (After all you are going to use the boat if it doesn't sell and you would just have to bring all that stuff back aboard in the spring.)
13. Coming back to Number 12 for a second. Always leave your "boat" toothbrushes, toothpaste, sunscreen and used tissues in the supplied storage areas. (You could be back in the spring).
14. If your boat has a garbage chute, leave the basket full of refuse. (I am particularly fond of crumpled, stained paper towels although nose tissues run a good second place)
15. Always leave all your cleaning materials on the boat. If you can, place them on the countertops in random order. with the circles of dirt under them in plain sight when they are moved.
16. If you are fortunate enough to have painted your boat in the last 10 years, do not bother touching it up before listing your boat. Make sure a good deal of flaking and bare spots are evident and the rust on the outdrive shows through the bottom paint.
17. Now that we are speaking of bottom paint: Leave all previous coats of bottom paint on the hull. Let it build up almost so you can measure it with a ruler. If it starts to peel with the build up, so much the better.
19. Make sure your propeller shows some rust and a ding or two. Never, ever, polish your propeller.
20. Your rudder should have very little anti fouling left on it and if you have a stainless rudder shaft it might be necessary to make sure there is some excessive play in the shaft and cutlass bearing.
In closing: I feel that if you have the fortitude to perform these necessary items, your attempt to keep your boat will succeed. I feel sure of it.