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Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:44am

Post Subject: Preparing for Winter

I purchased my 1st boat in June this year so I am now approaching my 1st winter. What will I need to do prior to leaving my boat in a marina for 4 months over the winter?


Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:58am

Post Subject: Preparing for Winter

Get the batteries fully charged and then make sure they get a one monthly top up charge. Assuming a boat with skin tank cooling then ensure the antifreeze is "within date" for its type and also ensure a minimum strength of 30% (also for any wet central heating). Ordinary blue/green antifreeze normally has a stated life of two years but there are some longer life ones around. Ideally change the engine oil and filter but the oil people say this is not necessary as long as you are observing the recommended oil change intervals. Leave ALL window hoppers NOT above soft furnishings & beds OPEN - DO NOT BLOCK ANY VENTS. This will minimise internal condensation. Ensure the fridge door stays open. Now the choice is yours based on where abouts on the system the boat is. Either ensure the water tank is not full but leave all taps open with the pump off or drain as much of the system as you can. If you have copper pipes the latter is probably best although you can get potable antifreeze to add to the domestic system. My boat in a south midlands marina did not suffer frost damage last year but the choice is yours. Any plumbing & equipment below the waterline will probably be safe in all but the most severe weather because the water will be warmer than the air but stuff higher up could freeze so think about draining the shower mixer and it is VITAL to drain the diaphragm chamber on instant gas water heaters. If you are draining the domestic water system do not forget the calorifier if you have one. There must now be questions about keeping the fuel tank full over winter to minimise condensation because of the 7% bio-diesel many of us will now have in the tanks - bio tends to break down over time - but on balance I think the tanks should still be kept full but try to remove all the water and any cloudy fuel from the bottom of the tank (this should now be at least an annual job) and use a water removing fuel additive. Tony Brooks

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