Winterizing your Boat
Winterize your engine in accordance with the manufacturer's instruction manual. This will normally include draining and flushing the cooling system; draining and refilling the crankcase; applying oil to inside of each cylinder through the spark plug holes; and other preservative actions. Thoroughly clean the exterior of the engine; sand and touch up with paint any scarred areas to prevent rusting. Thoroughly clean the bottom, decks, cockpit, bilge, all compartments, and lockers. Apply a coat of good anti-fouling paint to the bottom, and sand down and prime all other marred surfaces. Drain fuel lines, pumps, and carburetor; drain tank or fill completely and add stabilizer. Drain and flush out all water systems and tanks; drain the toilets. When water freezes it expands and will usually cause damage. Remove the batteries from the boat; store in an area not subject to freezing temperatures; test periodically with hydrometer and charge if necessary. Place a light coating of grease over all chrome plated metal surfaces. Leave all floorboards up, doors ajar, ports and skylights open, hatches partly open, drawers and lockers open. Carefully fit a well-made winter cover, provided with ventilation ports, if boat is to be stored outdoors. Additional Diesel engine winterizing tips. Drain crankcase and transmission and refill with fresh lubricant as specified in owner's manual. Change oil filters. Drain and clean all fuel filters and change elements, gaskets and seals. Bleed all air from fuel system. Start engine and bring up to operating temperature. Slowly remove the radiator cap on expansion tank. Using an antifreeze hydrometer, check the antifreeze for proper protection (add antifreeze to lower the freezing point of the antifreeze solution). If the antifreeze solution is dirty, more than 2 years old, or weak it should be completely drained and replaced with the proper mixture of permanent antifreeze and water. Close the sea cock, remove the raw water pick up hose from the raw water pump. Attach a 4-foot section of hose to the raw water pump and immerse one end into a 5 gal. bucket of antifreeze solution. Start engine and run till antifreeze solution comes out exhaust stack or until bucket is empty. Attach the raw water pick up hose to the raw water pump. Tighten all clamps. Loosen water pump and alternator belts to lessen tension on belts during winter. For engines equipped with a hand crank pull compression release levers and turn engine slowly with the hand crank. Slowly pour about 2 ounces of engine oil into the intake pipe or manifold while hand cranking the engine. This will allow for a thin coat of oil on the valves and upper cylinder. DO NOT USE the starter to turn engine or serious engine damage may result. Tape the opening of the intake and exhaust manifolds with duck tape to help prevent corrosion of the upper cylinder during lay up. Scrape all rust or corrosion from exposed metal parts and surfaces. Scrub all metal surfaces with detergent and rise thoroughly. Paint any bare metal. Place a dust cover over engine. Do not leave the engine exposed to rain and sea breeze. Disconnect the battery cables, remove the battery from the boat. Clean the terminal ends and battery with a solution of baking soda and water, rinse thoroughly with clean water. Apply a light coat of grease on the terminal end of the battery and cables. Store the battery in a cool dry place. Use a trickle charger to keep battery charged. Do not charge battery near any open flame or in a confined area. There are several books about winterizing that may help you. Chapman Piloting has good instructions on winterizing your boat. The Boat Repair manual by George Buchanan , Upgrading The Cruising Sailboat by Daniel Spurr, Illustrated by Bruce Bingham has some good ideas on winterizing your boat. These are just a few winterizing things that must be done. I would suggest getting the books I listed above, they will help you winterize your boat. Also, sometimes you can get good information from the other boat owners who are docking in your area.
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