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How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter

How to Prepare Your Boat for Winter

Winter is coming, and with it, your boat is likely in for a hibernation cycle. If you want it to be in perfect shape when you take it out in the open next season you have to make sure you take several protective measures before you store your boat. The freezing temperatures are not your only or your worst enemy. Inactivity can really take a toll on the boat and all of its systems, and before long you’d be looking for a company specializing in diesel engine repair in San Diego.

A lot of these steps are related to general maintenance, not just mechanical stuff, but a lot of them are as vital as getting your engine or fuel tank winterized. Here are some of the most important ship winterization steps.

Leave Your Engine the Same Way You Want to Find It Later

If you want your engine to be perfectly fine when you finally uncover the boat next year, your best bet is to have the engine serviced professionally. However, as that’s not always an option, there are some steps you can take on your own to get the same result. Doing this on a regular basis will help your engine work longer and be in perfect running order come spring.

First of all, make sure to change the boat oil, as the acids and water it contains can corrode the metallic components of your engine. Furthermore, fresh oil reduces the chance of other liquids contaminating your engine. Before changing the oil have the engine run for a while, as it helps the oil viscosity and makes the process of changing the oil easier.

Next, you have to drain the cooling system. However, be advised that simply draining the coolant isn’t enough. You have to run clean water through the cooling system and add fresh anti-freeze solution. 

You should also loosen the drive belts. If the belts are too tense they can crack when the boat is stored, which could lead to costly repairs. As for the moving parts, make sure to properly oil them according to the manufacturer manual. Finally, make sure to grease the joints of the steering mechanism and that everything can freely move.

Winterize the Fuel

You can leave the fuel in the tank during the winter, but there are still a few steps you have to take in order to do so safely. Make sure to fill your tank so that it’s 1 inch away from full capacity. This way the fuel can expand during the warm days and help prevent fuel contamination. Add a stabilizing agent to the fuel. Fuel can break down in the tank, so make sure you run the engine for at least 15 minutes to mix the stabilizing agent with the fuel properly.

Disconnect the Battery

Replacing your boat battery can be extremely costly, which is why you should make sure you disconnect it before you store your boat away during the winter, once you’re done with all of the steps listed above. To make the battery last even longer give it a charge from the land power. However, make sure to consult the manual before you disconnect the battery or make any other adjustments to it.

Clean Your Boat Thoroughly

While this might be obvious, many boat owners skip this step completely. Before you store your boat make sure to give it a thorough cleaning, starting from the outside and the decks, moving to the underside and the top side. You can use a steam cleaner for the particularly stubborn stains. Make sure to dry the boat out before storing it, as moisture can do a lot of harm. Remove items like signal flares, portable electronics and fire extinguishers.

Looking for Reliable Diesel Engine Repair San Diego?

If you follow all of the steps above, your boat will likely be ready to sail once you finally take it out. However, if you do experience any problems with the steering system, engine, battery or any other component feel free to reach out to Propulsion Controls Engineering San Diego. With over 40 years of experience, our friendly technicians will help you get to the core of the problem and have your boat ready for another sailing season.

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