EDGE TRACKS Winter inboard decommissioning: do you know what to do?

engine-incl-dual-racor-filters-and-new-waterlock-box-IMG_10028
For winter engine decommissioning, you can rely on a specialized workshop or, if you are a geek, try performing the decommissioning operations yourself-there is more satisfaction, no? Not to mention the savings!

WHEN THE BOAT IS IN THE WATER
1. Start the engine and run it until it has reached operating temperature: this should be done during a short sailing so that the oil in the inverter can also circulate.

72. If the engine is old and used (so it is conceivable that it has been lubricated with mineral oils) and therefore you do not know its internal cleanliness status, drain the oil and put in new “wash oil” to the lowest level of the control rod. Start the engine and keep it at low revs for a while, so you will remove any sludge that on contact with modern synthetic or semisynthetic oils would come off endangering proper lubrication and thus the engine itself, after which you can remove it and proceed with normal maintenance.

3. Some manufacturers recommend adding, when the engine is running, an emulsifying oil to the cooling system water at a ratio of 1:5 to provide the system with better corrosion resistance.

4. Once the engine is turned off, dry the cooling system thoroughly (if it is an open circuit, which uses seawater directly): you can leave it wet in the case of an indirect system (water is drawn in to cool a coolant circulating in a closed circuit), as long as you add a solution of water and antifreeze.

sailWHEN THE BOAT IS DRY
1. If you have just changed the oil, connect the engine cooling system to a source of fresh water, then start it so that the newly replaced oil is circulated to remove salt deposits from the cooling system.

2. Clean or replace the air filter, after which seal the circuits and air intakes: changes in temperature and humidity during winter decommissioning can cause corrosion of piston rings, cylinder liners, and rolling surfaces that are not adequately protected.

3. Check the clamps, hoses, and gaskets of the cooling system for tightness; if they are worn, replace them.

engine-incl-dual-racor-filters-and-new-waterlock-box-IMG_100284. Check belt tension and alignment (presence of black dust indicates belt wear due to poor alignment).

5. Make sure of the health of the impeller and at the first sign of wear and tear change it: keep in mind that the rubber impeller should be removed during periods of inactivity, otherwise the blades that are pressed against the cam will deform.

6. Dry the bilges thoroughly to keep the air around the engine dry.

7. If you cannot stow it, cover the outboard motor with a tarp so as to protect it from dust: be careful not to use plastic covers, which keep moisture inside since they are not breathable and promote condensation.

8. Close the tank vents tightly (to prevent fuel leakage).

9. Replace the zincs in the engine block and in the heat exchangers (in closed-loop cooling systems).

43040-640306710. Change the diesel filters: this is essential work to prevent the creation of algae, which would be immediately sucked out of the engine when it is first started, clogging the filters.

11. Check that the air circulation in the engine room is not obstructed to prevent the thickening of hazardous gases

12. Finally, make a note of everything you will need to replace before you put the boat back in the water and order it now (oil, filters), thus avoiding the price hikes resulting from increased demand at the beginning of the new season.

SELF-MADE PEOPLE…
True, with a specialized (and trusted) repair shop you are on the safe side when it comes to winter decommissioning, however, the do-it-yourself philosophy can help you not to be fooled and learn to recognize potential failures yourself.

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