The Importance Of Winterizing Your Boat – call the shop to schedule, 316-943-8444

Mechanical systems left sitting with corrosive waste products and dirt on them will suffer from it. Even if you are bringing your boat into a heated garage for the winter, the lack of motion in the engine can cause buildup and problems where that waste sits if the oil isn’t changed and the engine flushed.

Fuel Problems – Over time gasoline degrades as different weight compounds separate and evaporate. If you have ethanol in your fuel, it can absorb water if left for the winter. Unstabilized fuel can lead to gumming, deposits, dirt in the engine and difficulty starting and running.

Plumbing – Water left in hoses leads to burst lines over the winter. A pump which isn’t left dry will break if it freezes up, or chew itself up if activated while frozen. Holding tanks that aren’t emptied may freeze and expand, and the waste may dry out and solidify over the winter.

Batteries – Batteries are an often neglected risk area in winterizing. Lead-acid batteries like flooded wet cells, AGM and Gel will self-discharge over time. Batteries that are not fully charged at the start of winter may completely be discharged before the spring, which can damage a battery’s life span.

The chemistry of batteries causes a much lower freezing point for charged batteries than discharged batteries. Discharged batteries freeze at a temperature not much lower than water. Even if it doesn’t crack the battery case, freezing may cause internal damage to the lead plates, which kill the battery or reduce its life or capacity. The risks are highest for flooded cell batteries, but any lead-acid battery can freeze.  Failure to disconnect all loads from the battery will discharge it. Leaving a discharged lead-acid battery in a freezing storage area is a mistake.

Frozen Bilge – A frozen bilge can sink your boat if you leave enough water in it at the end of the season. If your boat has a hull plug for draining, ice in the bilge this could force it out or loosen it.  Bilge pumps in frozen water do not fair well. If they are run while frozen they are likely to get damaged, and expansion and crushing forces from water can break the casing or damage the pump mechanism.

 

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