Sadly, our short Ohio boating season is coming to an end.
Its that time of year. The lake temperature is starting to drop. The nights are getting cooler. The Halloween candy is out in the stores. It's time to winterize the boat. What the Heck! I'm fairly certain July 4th was just last month!
Why do we do this? Well we chose to live in the Midwest where we freeze our buns off for 3 months but dont have palmetto bugs or alligators. That and water has this funny thing it does when it forms a solid, it expands. This expansion is no match for engine blocks, exhaust manifolds, lower units, piping or anything else on a boat.
I know, I know, "I store my boat in heated storage. I don't need to winterize it" Friday December 24th, 2004 an ice storm took out the power to 300,000 homes in central Ohio. On Saturday the low was 10 degrees. Propylene Glycol is about $2.70 per gallon this year. What a new block cost?
Steps in winterizing,
Fuel Stabilizer, They contain antioxidants, corrosion inhibiters, and detergents.
Fogging Oil, This reduces storage corrosion in the combustion and exhaust side of the engine. DO NOT FOG A BOAT WITH EFI AND A CATALYTIC CONVERTER.
Oil Change, Oil contaminates and moisture can wreak havoc on internal engine parts.
Fuel Filter, You're already in there, why stop now
Lower Unit Oil, Are you %100 the seals held up over the summer?
Automatic Transmission Fluid, There's more to this fluid than lubrication, its cheap compared to a rebuild.
Propylene Glycol, Marine/RV Antifreeze, Don't use the green stuff and don't try it without.
Anti Corrosion Spray, it quickly becomes a sauna under that cover when the sun comes out and the humidity skyrockets!
We start with adding fuel stabilizer to the last fill-up of the year. Get it well mixed in the tank(s). Run the engine(s) to get up to operating temperature and the stabilized fuel into the entire system. This is to help keep the fuel fresh and keep your fuel system from being fouled.
DO NOT FOG A BOAT WITH EFI OR A CATALYTIC CONVERTER
To fog an engine you'll need access to the unrestricted air intake portion of the engine. Hold the throttle to about 1500 rpm's and slowly spray fogging oil into the air intake. The engine is not going to like this and start sputtering and smoking. Once there is smoke coming out of the exhaust, spray fully while throttling down to kill the engine. This will coat the internal parts in the combustion areas with a light oil.
Oli and Filter Change
Chang the oil and filter. You've been running this season and your oil is filled with stuff engines don't like to sit in. Plus it's one less thing to do in the spring.
Lower Unit Oil
Seals go bad. When you are out running full throttle across the lake, that lower unit is getting hot! When you pull into the cove to raft up with friends it's now suddenly cooled to lake temperature. This creates a vacuum that will draw water into a worn seal. Change it to prevent rust and worse...
Automatic Transmission Fluid
Take my word for it, that $30.00 gallon of ATF is cheaper than the 4k rebuilds we just went through...
Propylene Glycol, Marine/RV Antifreeze
I've changed enough blocks, manifold, and "freeze/casting plugs" to know that bottle of antifreeze is CHEAP compared to bringing it to a shop because you saves 3 bucks.
BTW, It's not a freeze plug for protecting the engine. It's where they remove the casting sand after its poured. They are the week link and will pop out first but will not protect your block
This part is important, You need to get all the water out of the block, manifolds, pumps, valves, hoses, tanks, toilets, hot water heaters, sinks, showers, pipes, EVERYTHING! Diluting it by running the engine while putting antifreeze into the cooling water intake doesn't always work. Get the water out first, Then get the antifreeze into it!
Pour antifreeze into the toilet, pump it through the water pipes and out the sinks, showers, toilets, hot water heaters. Pull the top hoses off the engine and poor it into the block, manifolds and pumps. Pull the drain on the ball cocks and get the antifreeze into them. Every metal water jacket will benefit by being filled with antifreeze as it reduces corrosion in addition to freeze protection. Don't forget to fill the Air Conditioner pump and heat exchangers!
Just remember antifreeze is cheap! Also, clean it off the driveway when you're done.
Anti Corrosion Spray
Spray your block, manifolds, transmission, lower unit, propeller shafts, terminals, nuts, bolts, and anything you don't want to see rust on in the spring.
Wash and Wax
Now is a good time to get the finish ready for storage.
While this is not inclusive to everything the needs done to you boat to get it ready for the long winter season, it's just a reminder.
Keep an eye on our web page as we have started having regular dinner gatherings again, hope to see you there!