With the cold weather already starting to appear we should start to prepare our boats for winter.
The obvious thing, once when we have decided that we are not going to use the boat, is to fully winterise the engine but if you intend to keep her in the water and use her occasionally in the winter, there a few things that might help maintain reliability:
- Keep the diesel tank as full as possible to reduce condensation. Now is a really good time to dose up your tanks with some form of fuel biocide (see below).
- Check the fuel filler cap seals and put a little Vaseline or grease around the threads to ensure no water can get in with onset of heavy rain.
- Have you got enough anti-freeze in your engine? This is especially important if you overheated during the season and the system was filled with fresh water only. Remember – one of the primary roles of anti-freeze is to stop corrosion.
- As the temperature falls, so does the efficiency of the batteries. If the batteries are not sealed, check the water levels in them and top up with distilled water where necessary.
- Apply corrosion inhibiter over the engine and 12volt electrical system to stop condensation starting to corrode terminals.
As the boat will probably not be used as much during the winter, when in use the alternator will be asked to work very hard so it is important that the drive belts are in good condition and kept tight.