ChristinesMarine.com

Inboard Boat Parts

Revive your Hibernating Boat


Checklist

Most Boats prior to 2005

Fogging
If you did this in the fall to protect your resting engine components, now's the time to burn it off. Put all the hoses back on, crank up the engine & let the oily layer burn off completely (expect a thick cloud of blue smoke).  Use the old plugs to burn off the fogging agent, then replace them with new Spark Plugs.  Fresh plugs are a must every 100 hours or every season, whichever comes first.


Tighten up
Time to reconnect everything you unscrewed, unplugged, loosened or popped off - & hopefully kept zip-locked in a warm, dry place.  On the engine you have two drain plugs in the block, one in the thermostat elbow (on PCM engines), one in each exhaust manifold & one in the transmission cooler.  Make sure all drain plugs are in place.  As you tighten the belts, hoses & plug wires, check them for wear & replace as needed.  Also, check the flame arrestor to make sure its filter isn't clogged with belt dust.  Reconnect the battery check the contacts for corrosion & load test it to see if it will hold a charge with a draw on the engine.  Power up the blower, bilge pump, map lights, etc., to check for wiring or fuse problems.


Gas
Winterizing doesn't necessarily require you to keep a full tank of gas to prevent condensation.  In the newer-model boats that have plastic tanks, you don't get the "sweating" of excess mosture you'd see in older aluminum tanks.  If you did fill it up, hopefully you added a stabilizer, & ran the engine long enough to cycle it completely through the fuel system.  "If you didn't put in the stabilizer, there's a 50-50 chance you may have carburetion problems or injection problems with fuel -injected engines.  The injectors will varnish up if the fuel is bad.


Ballast Tanks
You always want to drain your ballest tanks completely, but especially before extended docking. (If you trailored your boat to its winter home this should already have been done to eliminate the added sloshing weight.)  If you live in a warmer climate, draining will prevent excess water from becoming a foul, stagnant mess.  You can add a little bleach to the tanks to reduce residual funk.  Those of you in colder regions could have a worse problem: the undrained water could freeze & crack your ballest tanks.  Some of the newer boats have added a small port on the ballest tank where you can add a touch of antifreeze to to prevent this.


Oil
This is the lifeblood of an engine.  Use the old oil during defogging process, then replace it with your manufacturor's recommended grade.  Get a new oil filter each season or every 50 hours, & label it with the date and running hours at the time it was changed


Impeller
The primary concern are the water pump and impeller. That's the heart of the cooling system. If you didn't remove the impeller when you decommissioned the vessel in the fall, the impeller will have set, where there are three blades that are collapsed from being pressed up against the cam of the pump.  So when you go to start it, one of two things will happen: If the blades stick to the housing & the impeller is old, it will rip the blades off & stop the flow of water, causing overheating. OR, if you have a marginal impeller & you let it sit for six months, you'll have three blades that are crushed, once again not allowing proper flow of water & causing a hot engine.  Impellers are cheap whereas warping the block or cylinder heads is not.


Steering / Rudder
It's a good idea to give the steering wheel a crank from lock to lock position a couple of times a month to keep the cable lubricated & ensure against condensation.  Underneath the boat, you can check the integrity of the rudder and drive shaft packing by trying to move the rudder & shaft with your hand.  If you sense any play in those areas, have your service professional check it out.


Propeller
Check the propeller for dings that might have happened during off season storage.  If the prop is damaged significantly enough it may cause a vibration while running, which could ultimately tear up the shaft.  Check the cotter pin to make sure it's not hanging on the prop like a christmas ornament.


Exterior / Interior
When you winterize your boat, you were supposed to put a nice coat of wax on the hull.  Right.  Most people don't because they figure, "What's the purpose when I'm just going to put it away?"  A common problem is having a yellow buildup along the waterline of the hull.  This type of stain is particularly nasty if you've let it cure for three or four months while your boat's been put up.  Few remedies do the trick for this problem short of applying a solution of diluted muriatic acid to the stain.

Unless you want to find a crop of shiitake mushrooms growing out of the seat cushions when you eventually lift up the boat cover, take these preemptive steps to prevent moisture: Let your interior completely sun/air dry, pull up the cushions and wipe everything down with an absorbent chamois drying towel.  Set a few Damp Rid Trap - packets made of moisture loving crystals in buckets on the deck before you put on the cover.  When the dark blue crystals fade to a pinkish hue, it's time to replenish them by putting them out in direct sunlight for about six hours.  If you have a mildew problem please take a look at our Mold and Mildew Facts 


Critters
Check your boat often for nesting houseguests.  Warm exhaust ports & open drain holes make for easy access.  You will be suprised how many uninvited creatures will inhabit your boat in the space of a couple of months, especially if it's kept in close proximity to the water, like in a boat house.


          Happy & Safe Boating