When winter starts to begin in earnest, you’re in for a bit of a treat when it comes to your boat. After all, all you have to do is cover her up, and that’s it. It’s a far cry from all the maintenance you need to perform in summer.
That is where you would be very wrong. Just because your boat is not in the water, it doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore. Any corrosion present will continue to dine on your boat. And things get even worse if moisture is able to seep in and freeze.
Then there is your lubricant that can actually congeal into a gunky mess. You get the idea, so what can you do? In this post, we will offer some simple boat maintenance tips that will help keep your craft in tip-top shape year-round.
Give the Machine a Thorough Cleaning
Make it shine from head to toe now, and you won’t have nearly as much work to do when you are getting ready for summer. While you are doing this, inspect for any anomalies, blistering, etc. and take preventative steps to close these off. Once you are satisfied, cover with a coat of wax as necessary. In addition check your marine battery charger and make sure you are getting the power you need.
Clean out the Cooling System
If your boat draws water directly from the ocean as a coolant, you need to flush it out with fresh water so that dirt, corrosion and salt residue is cleaned out. If you live in a really cold area, you should be putting anti-freeze into this section.
Get the Fuel System Ready
If you have a fuel filter, change it out. Also, add a marine-grade fuel stabilizer as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Let the engine run for three or four minutes so that it works its way throughout the system.
This sounds a little weird, but it makes sense – top off the fuel tank so that there is no space for condensation to build up in it.
Give Your Engine Some T.L.C.
You need to clean out your engine as well. Get an aerosol cleanser designed for the purpose to run through the system and remove the residue of carbon and other gunk. Then clean the internal areas that you have access to.
When everything is clean, finish off with a spray of Fogging Oil. This is designed to lightly coat the internal components and keep them protected. Wipe some over the top of the engine.
Get Ready to Get Oily
Change out the engine oil and oil filters on all engines. Ideally, do this when it the engine is a little warmer as this makes it easier to flush out impurities. Drain off the oil, change the filter and then refill the oil again.
Basic maintenance will take a little longer, but you will appreciate the extra time spent when spring comes around. Making sure that all of these tasks are done properly at the end of autumn will keep your vessel in tip-top condition all year round. Is skipping it to have a few beers with your mates worth all the potential damage to your boat?