diy-maintenance-winterizing_main-largeJust this past winter, my own transmission cooler, which should have been mounted in a more upright position, froze and split the casing, causing water to steadily leak into my bilge until we discovered the problem and corrected it.

By "corrected" I mean dump money into replacing a perfectly good transmission cooler just because I thought it was fully drained when it wasn't. I'm sure many of our readers can share stories of that one hidden little drain plug. I guess this is simply our way of saying that you should never tackle a job like this without the proper shop manual to ensure that you have located all of the winterizing points, if you're going to do this job yourself.

That's a nice segue into suggesting you turn critical work like winterizing your engine over to a qualified marine technician who knows your type of engine. This is more than just a good idea. If you have a new boat that is under warranty, doing the work yourself could void that warranty and you certainly wouldn't want that.

On the other hand, there are two very good reasons for wanting to read this article and to get to know the winterizing process for your engine.

The first is that whether you do the work yourself or not, it makes good sense to understand your engine and where its critical points are, like drainage plugs, incoming cooling water, outgoing exhaust, and so on. With this understanding, you will feel more comfortable cruising to more remote locations. The second reason is that you will also have a better understanding of what the marine technician does to winterize your engine for you.

Luckily, when it comes to winterizing your diesel engine, the process is fairly straightforward. You should always have a shop manual for your engine for many other reasons anyway, so with that and a crewmember as helper, go ahead.

To help us cover off the main points, we spoke to Jaap Breugen at PDQ Yachts in Whitby, Ontario. All the boats that PDQ builds are equipped with diesel engines and Jayp took us onboard a magnificent Antares 44 sailing cat and walked us through the winterizing procedure.

 

diy-maintenance-winterizing_11. We assume that your boat is hauled out for the winter and on dry land. To begin with, locate the seacock that leads to your raw water strainer for the cooling system. Open the seacock and allow the water to drain out of the strainer. Then, close the seacock again.

 

 

 

 

 

diy-maintenance-winterizing_22. Next, open the bleeder drains on the engine block to drain the cooling water that's already in the system. The Yanmar diesel that we used as our example happens to have two drain plugs. But, remember that your engine may have only one or perhaps has several and all of them must be located and drained if your boat is to be stored in cold weather. Consult your service manual to locate them all and make a note of their locations on the engine with a quick blast of spray paint for convenience in the future. Then, open these screws or valves and allow them to drain until the water stops. The final step is to now close those drain plugs.

 

diy-maintenance-winterizing_33. Next, drain your transmission cooler, if one is installed in your boat and then move on to your water lift muffler, again assuming that you have one fitted to the boat and locate all of the drain plugs. You would expect just one, but the muffler on the PDQ happened to have two drains. NOTE: This component is probably NOT included in your shop manual. Open the drain plugs and allow all of the water to run out. With that done, leave only the very lowest one on the water lock open. We're going to run anti-freeze through the system until it bleeds out this low plug, so put a small pan or catchment basin under that drain.

 

diy-maintenance-winterizing_44. Return to the raw water strainer and unscrew the lid. It should be empty, and we are going to fill it up with nontoxic, plumbing antifreeze. This will be pink in color. (Other types of antifreeze can be green, orange or blue, but only the pink colored plumbing antifreeze is nontoxic). Get your pink antifreeze ready and begin pouring the antifreeze into the raw water strainer while your assistant starts the engine up.

The antifreeze will keep the water pump from burning out and it will draw the antifreeze through the system as you pour it in. In a few moments you will see pink antifreeze begin to come out of the drain on the water lift muffler (or out the boat's exhaust system, if no muffler is fitted) then you know that the antifreeze has been drawn all the way through the system. Stop the engine, close the valve on the water lift muffler to keep the antifreeze from flowing out, then top up the raw water strainer with more pink antifreeze, remove the antifreeze in your catchment container and clean up.

Next spring, follow this same procedure to safely dispose of the pink antifreeze so that you don't put it into the lake.

If you have twin engines, you have to do both of course and it goes without saying that the engine is only one of the many systems on a larger yacht. They all need to be prepared for storage, especially any enclosed space where water could be trapped. You still have to disconnect your battery. Remove that to a dry location where you can recharge it periodically to prevent damage over the winter.

Shut off the fuel supply valve before you leave the boat and use the manufacturer's recommended fuel conditioner or stabilizer. Generally, it's best to leave your tanks nearly full to prevent condensation from entering but leave some space for expansion as the hot weather returns.

All the other onboard systems such as fresh water and waste systems, transom showers, your generator engine and any areas of the hull where water could be trapped, all need to be looked after.

None of this is hard but you can see, there are reasons for the growing popularity of heated storage. Better yet, cruise to the Caribbean and just skip the whole thing!

Destinations

  • Prev
During the summer of 2016, my wife and I cruised through the North Channel in Lake Huron on our ...
It’s like we’ve waved a magic wand and disappeared into a picture perfect painting, our ...
The Schooner Cove Yacht Club is situated between Nanaimo and Parksville, on the east coast of ...
After months of planning my trip to Prince Edward Island in my CL16 open sailing dinghy Celtic ...
Bridgetown, Barbados:With just four days to go before the start of the 2017 Mount Gay Round ...
The first time we sailed to Madeira we wondered if the island had vanished. Or at least that's how ...
A year ago, it’s quite possible that if someone gave me an outline of Canada and asked me to ...
You've all heard of the “Backpacker's Guide to Europe” and the “Hitchhiker's ...
We were cruising for two weeks in Gwaii Haanas. Spread out among three boats, (a Campion, a ...
When we (an Ontario couple) both raised sailing on the Great Lakes and Lake Simcoe,  decided to ...

Almost Canadian, Almost Caribbean

Grand Turk IslandBy Mark Stevens • Photos by Sharon Matthews-Stevens

Late afternoon, Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos.

I’m chilling on the balcony of our beachside suite at the Bohio Dive Resort, gazing at sun-burnished whispering surf nuzzling the sand ten metres away.

A single couple populates the beach, shaded by a Norfolk pine. She leans over to say something to her partner every once in a while. Moments later he answers her.

Read more of Almost Canadian, Almost Caribbean...

 

 

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
After the questionable spring we’ve all had, here’s an iPhone shot that will remind you ...
Here’s a pair of shots guaranteed to get you in the mood for this summer. They come from Pat ...
When we left George Town last month, we had 60 miles of open Atlantic Ocean to cross. Picking the ...
After we published a picture of a cute doggie in a life jacket we got some great dog-onboard photos ...
After ten weeks in George Town, aka Adult Summer Camp, we have left the harbour and started north. ...
Last time we published a picture of a cute doggie in a life jacket (my pup btw) and we received a ...
This picture is of the vessel Puffins II a 1947 30' Taylor Craft. This vessel has been the pride of ...
This shot came to us via Cat Ward of Toronto, although it was her friend Laurie who took it from ...
“This is in Shoal Channel off the town of Gibsons BC. We are awaiting the start of a second ...
When the three day weather window we needed to cross to the Bahamas opened up, we were ready to ...

Cedar Island Yacht ClubBy Katherine Stone
The very first yacht club ever featured in this column was the Buffalo Yacht Club, back in 2012. I chose to start with this particular club as it was the only one that had clubhouses in two countries: the United States and Canada.Canada is deeply tied to the United States as their number one trading partner, enjoys many cultural similarities, and a shared language; so this seemed like a fun way to start what has now become an ensconced column in every issue. However, the Buffalo Yacht Club is not the southernmost yacht club in Canada, as that distinction lies with the Cedar Island Yacht Club...

Read More about Cedar Island Yacht Club...

 

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
According to the folks at Fraser Yacht Sales, you couldn't ask for more - the new Azimut Atlantis ...
During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun ...
Last July, I had the pleasure of traveling to Wisconsin on behalf of Boating Industry Canada. I had ...
The Rossiter 23 Classic Day Boatis both a logical extension of the Canadian-built Rossiter line and ...
It's rare for Canadian Yachting magazine to report on the same boat twice, but that is how ...
When French naval architect Philippe Briandand the Jeanneau design team started working on the ...
Canadian Yachting magazine readers will certainly be familiar with the Cruisers Yachts line of ...
You can count yourself lucky to be able to go for a sail on Lake Ontario in mid-October when the ...
We met the new Cruisers Yachts 54 Cantius under almost ideal circumstances, on the beautiful Trent ...
The Chris-Craft Scorpion 210F is a sport boat with a unique combination of a midship motor and an ...

Fast, spacious and stable – the Leopard 45 is the stuff dreams are made of!

During those cold, cold, sunless, dreary months of January and February, I want to remember the fun I had in the sun on the water. Did someone say charter? In warm weather?In warm waters?

If you plan on chartering when the weather in Canada is less than ideal (mmmmm…that’s two months of bad sledding), then I suggest you charter, purchase to charter, or just buy to own and enjoy for yourself the newly redesigned Leopard 45 sailing catamaran.

Read more on the Leopard 45 . . . 

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
Every year thousands of boaters go out on the water without the proper safety equipment that is ...
Just launched in Canada, it’s the Discover Boating Safety app. Indispensable to the Canadian ...
According to the US Coast Guard, there were over 4,000 boating accidents in the US with 600 ...
During the AGM, Captain Tom Boross, Chief, Auxiliary &Boatng Safety at U.S. Coast Guard, gave a ...
If your flares have a manufacture date of 2013 or earlier they have or will expire this year. You ...
On February 2nd, Toronto’s Parks and Environment Committee received a report that was ...
I reviewed the C-Tow app recently at the Toronto boat show and I was hooked. It was downloaded that ...
Ally and Roy Way live on their sailboat in Vancouver. They had purchased a couple of electric bikes ...
Cranchi, a prestigious Italian leading name in pleasure crafts has officially designated Poliseno ...
Discover Boating Canada recently launched a new Boating Safety App. We are pleased to let our ...