Saturday, November 11, 2006

Put Away Your Toys

Winterization, 10/28-11/11/2006

Nothing fancy here. This was my first time winterizing a boat, so I was a little nervous about doing it right. Also, this was my first winter with this boat, so I don't know when a lot of things were last done. As a result, the whole process probably took a lot longer than it will in the future.
  • Pumped out the holding tank. Flushed a gallon of pink antifreeze through the toilet.
  • Ran the water system dry. Poured in two gallons of pink antifreeze, and opened the taps until pink flowed through the whole system.
  • Hot water tank was bypassed already, so nothing to do there.
  • Pulled the intake hose for the A/C off the seacock, held a funnel in it, and poured pink antifreeze in until it came out the discharge.
  • Filled the fuel tank with diesel, added stabilizer.
  • Changed oil and filter.
  • Changed crankcase breather.
  • Drained raw water from the cooling system. There are a handful of petcocks for draining off the water, and some are positioned such that the water won't drain directly to the bilge. I drained into a small flat basin that I could fit under them, and emptied the basin each time it filled. Definitely learned something here: Get a hose that fits over the petcocks and let the water drain into the bilge.
  • Drained and replaced coolant/antifreeze. Like with the raw water system, next time I'll get a hose for the petcocks so I can drain the antifreeze directly into disposal containers. Fortunately, the coolant doesn't need to be done every year.
  • Replaced engine zincs. The raw water cooling system has zinc anodes that screw into caps, that then screw into the side of the heat exchanger. There are a handful of these, and some went in easily, others not so much. Part of the problem here is that I think the pencil zincs available at the store do not match the original specs -- they are longer, so they don't quite go in all the way. I cut some of them with a hacksaw so they fit better.
  • Cleaned seawater strainer. Here's a tip, if you do this in the water make sure the intake seacock is closed. If the strainer is below the water line when you remove the cap, well, you can guess what would happen!
  • Circulated pink antifreeze through the raw water system. Basically this just involves pulling the engine intake hose from the seacock and sticking it in a bucket of antifreeze. Run the engine, and the antifreeze is sucked through. There are arguments about whether to use non-toxic pink, or toxic ethylene glycol. Apparently, many people are concerned that the pink stuff doesn't inhibit corrosion, but the stuff I used specifically says that it does. The advantage with pink stuff is that it's non-toxic, so in spring you just run the engine and blow all of it straight out the exhaust.
  • Changed antifreeze cap. Old cap was rusted badly, so I replaced it.
  • Greased steering cable.
I saved the fuel filter change for spring. It doesn't hurt them to sit over the winter, so I did this for one main reason: I wanted to make sure that when I first try to start the engine in the spring, I could be sure that any failure to start isn't just due to air in the fuel lines. I had never bled the air from the lines before, so I wanted to save this for spring, after I know the engines are ok.

So that's about it. There are various other miscellaneous things, like cleaning, taking down curtains, propping up cushions, etc, but the list above is the bulk of it. It was work, but it was interesting and educational. Shrinkwrap will be done soon, and then the boat is put to bed for winter.

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