It is hard to think of making preparations for colder weather when it is still so warm out, but for most, the boating season generally ends around Labor Day. So it is prudent to get a jump on winterizing your craft, and to pay special attention to engine maintenance. Wholesale Marine knows that boaters love their boats and want to keep them running in top shape for as long as possible. Here we offer a list of the Top 5 facts boat owners should know when prepping their vessels for winter, to ensure that their marine engineparts will not sustain damage while in dry dock.
Lubricate, Change Oil, and Add Antifreeze to Preserve Your Engine
While the engine is running, apply lubricating oil to the engine cylinders and pistons. This is called “fogging” and can be sprayed on carburetors, air intakes or through the fuel line. Be sure to change your engine oil after you’ve fogged the engine. Lastly, pour biodegradable antifreeze through the cooling system to flush any water and to protect engine parts.
Inspect the aluminum sterndrive carefully for corrosion. Aluminum corrodes through galvanic action. Corrosion is the enemy of marine engine parts. If this condition is spotted on the sacrificial anodes, the source of the corrosive element must be located and eliminated.
Remove and Store Drain Plus
Pull the engine drain plugs and store these where you’ll remember to retrieve them next Spring. Remove any condensation by inserting a pipe cleaner and swirling to catch any drops that may have formed.
Spruce Up Gear Cases and Sterndrives
Check to see if the gear cases and sterndrive are scuffed. If so, sand with 150-grit sandpaper, wipe down with white vinegar, then quickly apply the first of several coats of zinc primer. The topcoat can be colored to match your boat trim if you wish.
Protect the Engine Block
Whatever type of engine your boat has, it will need to be degreased. Use paper towels to remove obvious globs, then wipe down with a soapy rag or sponge. Then spray the engine block, linkages, and wiring with silicone or any lubricant that dries to a waxy film.
Locate the remote fluid reservoir for the gear case and upper drive and top off with fresh fluid. It is also a good idea to put your craft into dry dock with a full tank of gas. Many boat owners prefer to trailer with an empty gas tank, but a full tank prevents condensation to form, which is a leading cause of engine failure.