Winterizing your boat: Inboard Engines

Winterizing your inboard engine is important if you plan not to use the boat for the next few months.

That time of year is here, when you have to pack up your fishfinder, fishing poles and tackle box for the winter (presuming, of course, that you aren't an ice fisher). It's a sad occasion, but if you winterize your boat properly, it will allow you to enjoy it for many more summers without needing a lot of maintenance and service.

If you have an inboard engine, the weatherizing process is a little more complicated than it is with outboard motors. Fortunately, the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BOATUS) has in-depth, step-by-step instructions for what you need to do. Here are some of their key points:

  • Change the coolant and oil: These fluids tend to get dirty over time, and if you leave them in the engine over the winter, the dirt and debris they collect will settle to the bottom of the tank, making it difficult to keep clean. Replacing them before you pack up the vessel for long-term storage will ensure this doesn't happen.
  • For diesel engines, top off the tank: Diesel engines can be damaged by condensation. To prevent this, make sure there's a full tank of fuel for the winter.
  • For gasoline engines, empty the tank: Gasoline can evaporate and leave mineral deposits that can corrode the tank and hoses and are difficult to clean. You should also run fuel out of the hoses by turning on the engine, disconnecting it from the gas tank and letting it go until it runs out of fuel.

Since your boat is going to be in long-term storage for the next few months, it may be a good time to consider whether you may need to upgrade your marine electronics systems, as this is easier to do when the boat is out of the water. Check out ePal's selection of the best marine technology today!

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