What are the proper steps I should take when decommissioning a boat for the season?
Now is the time to prepare for next year’s boating season! You wouldn’t believe the number of people who call with engine problems due to poor boat storage practices. Of course if you are one of those people, I’m sure you already know how important these steps precautions really are and I would love to hear back from you this fall if you need any help making sure that your boat is properly winterized. Without a doubt, following these basic steps will save you time and money next spring:
- Put the proper preservative in your tank. (for gas or diesel make sure you get the right one for you) There will be a recommended amount on the product.
- Drain the engine oil and inspect it. If it looks like a white foam, NOW is the time to do some major engine troubleshooting.
- Refill with the proper type and amount of oil as recommended in your owner’s manual.
- Change all fuel filters. Look for water in the canisters. (It will look like bubbles at the bottom of the canister.) Consider changing your fuel supplier if you find very much water.
- For gas engines: drain the float chamber, spray carburetor cleaner in the air intake. Spray WD40 or similar lubricant on all linkages.
- For diesel engines: spray WD40 or similar lubricant on throttle and engine stop linkages.
- For gas engines: Remove spark plugs and spray “engine fogger” in cylinders, then put the plugs back.
- For heat-exchangers: check anti-freeze. Drain all engines that are cooled with lake or sea water. This is very important. Be sure you drain and rinse according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Bypassing the recommendations (some people just put a hose in a bucket of anti-freeze and run the engine) will leave untreated water in the engine and when it freezes will cause expensive damage.
- Drain and inspect the rubber impeller. Inspect the lobes, and install a new impeller, gasket or o-ring if necessary in the spring, after storage.
- Remove the battery and store it inside.
- Grease all steering and tilt mechanisms, throttle, shift cables.
- Remove the propeller and look for fishing line or similar foreign matter between the prop and the gear unit. (This can migrate up the shaft and destroy shaft seals.)
Drain the lower gear case oil. Inspect like you did the engine. Refill with proper type and amount of oil.
- Grease trailer bearings.
If you follow these steps you should avoid many headaches in the spring. Naturally, you should read your owner’s manual and follow its recommendations as well for properly winterizing your boat.
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September 29, 2016 / mpartsexpress / 0
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Margaret Graham Neeeson
Margaret Graham Neeson
Marine Parts Express