Fall is fast approaching and with it the sad day that you haul out your boat and pack her away for the winter. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before that last day on the water which will help your boat fair well over the cold winter months.
One of the first items on the list is an oil change. We recommend having the oil changed in the fall. This job needs to be done when the boat is in the water. Changing the oil within a month of the boat being hauled out allows it to sit over the winter with clean oil. Used oil has a high acid content and is best not left sitting in the engine over long periods of time.
Filling up the fuel tank – there are multiple schools of thought when it comes to whether or not to top off the fuel tank before haul out. We recommend filling the tank to 90% full to avoid any condensation buildup but still allow room for fuel expansion. If the tank is extremely fuel on sunny days in the fall and spring the fuel can expand and leak out of the vent and fuel cap. We also recommend adding a stabilizing formula before haul out and every time you fill up. Particularly for sailors who go through very little fuel, the right stabilizing additive can prevent bacteria growth. Our favorite stabilizer for diesel is BioGuard Plus 6. It has multiple benefits including preventing rust and corrosion and dispersing moisture.
The batteries are another important item on the list and we recommend you bring them to full charge before haul out. The batteries will of course need to be recharged in the spring but leaving them with a full charge in the fall make sure they last as long as possible.
These three points are certainly not a comprehensive list of what needs to be done before haul out but if completed they can help keep your boat in the best possible condition during the winter. Port Sanilac Marina is happy to perform any of this work for you just let us know at least a couple weeks before your haul out and we will take care of your boat’s exact needs. Stay tuned to our blog for more winter prep information!