Here’s a bullet-point vademecum for routine maintenance that you can perform yourself-we reveal more storage tips and tricks to best prepare your boat for the long winter rest.
DIY STORAGE TIPS – PART ONE
DIY STORAGE TIPS – PART TWO
Check that all water drains are clear, scuppers are open, and water drains properly. If provided with a valve, and if the drain is above the waterline, leave it open and check that the pipe has no constrictions or is not crushed by some object. Do not limit yourselves to the cockpit drains, but also check those in the peaks and the drum.
Close the sea socket and clean it. If no inspection glass is provided, disassemble the lid and remove the basket. To clean it, turn it upside down and rinse it with the hose, directing the jet from the outside to the inside. Check the tightness of the sea inlet and its valve, greasing it with Vaseline or spray lubricant.
At each oil change you must also replace the corresponding filter. If easy to access, you can unscrew it with your hands, otherwise you have to get a special wrench equipped with a strap or chain. During the operation, get a rag so that any spills do not end up in the bilge. Reinstall the new filter and its gasket manually.
Perform all checks and replacements listed in the manufacturer’s manual. it is still useful to change the engine oil before winterizing your boat. This should be done if the engine has already accumulated many hours of navigation, so as not to let particles and combustion by-products settle to the bottom of the sump. Perform lubricant change possibly when the engine is warm, replace the filter cartridge and its gasket. Used oil should be disposed of in the special containers at the ports or given to those who sold you new oil.
Rinse them with fresh water and any specific detergent. Remove traces of grease or grease at pivots, screws and mechanisms in general, remembering to restore the lubricant after cleaning. Once dry, coat the metal with special waxes or polishes, which not only remove any traces of oxide, but also polish and create a protective veil against corrosion.
If you leave the boat at sea, it is basic to tighten the adjusting screws to completely stop seepage (loosen them before each use of the engine in gear). If, on the other hand, your boat is dry, loosen the adjusting screws, remove the ferrule, and sprinkle a small amount of silicone grease to be able to keep the packing soft. In any case, it is advisable to change the braid every year. If you have a watertight system, drain any water left inside the rubber bellows with gentle hand pressure.