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!

  • Canadian Yachting Sends Off Adamant 1 Headed for the Great Loop
  • Cruisers  Yachts Cantius 54 Delivery with Andy Adams and Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • Canadian Olympic House - Design Sneak Peek
  • Confident Sailor - Reluctant Sailor: The MacLeods and Canadian Yachting
  • The Azores Islands with Distant Shores and Canadian Yachting
  • CY's Galley Guys cook Asparagus and enjoy it with  Whitehaven wine
  • 2016 Azimut 55 S Yacht Sea Trial with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Neptunus 650 Express Tour with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • Yacht Controller Founder Gerald Burton Describes This Precision Docking Innovation
  • Explore the new Cruisers 60 Cantius with Andy Adams and Canadian Yachting
  • Beneteau GT40 Sneak Peek with Canadian Yachting's John Armstrong
  • Galley Guys at Krates Marina in Keswick, Ontario
  • Executive Yacht at Toronto Outer Harbour with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • Diane Reid - Clipper Round the World Race - The Countdown is On
  • Port Credit Spring In-Water Boat Show with Canadian Yachting Magazine
  • 2016 Neptunus 62 Launch with Canadian Yachting
  • Enjo Outdoor Cleaning Kit - Chemical Free Cleaning Solutions for your Boat
  • Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean Part III - Water Separators - Ask the Experts
  • Launch Day 2015, Midland Bay Sailing Club with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean Part II - Filters - Ask the Experts
  • Mystic Seaport Museum with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Marine Museum of the Great Lakes with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Kingston’s Pumphouse Steam Museum with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Antique Boat Museum Clayton NY with Canadian Yachting magazine

Destinations

  • Prev
It’s dawn on Endymion Island in Thousand Islands National Park: a stand of pine and granite, ...
For three years following our return from a year-long trip to the Bahamas and back aboard our 1981 ...
The food in the grocery store – where does it come from? There are undoubtedly hardworking ...
We had been out on the ocean for 17 days, just the two of us, keeping watch around the clock. One ...
Regatta-cation is defined as the perfectly balanced vacation for a girl such as me, who grew up ...
O’Donnell Point is lumpy on the best of days but as Northern Explorer makes the turn north we ...
We’re leaving the dock early in the morning in order to catch the incoming tide that will carry us ...
The sunny sky suddenly turned black as we waited on the blue line for our turn to enter the mammoth ...
Morning. Thompson Island on Lake Superior. Fourteen nautical miles out of Thunder Bay. Perfect ...
Despite the ongoing lure of the deep blue Caribbean seas, a day pass at La Marina at the Casa de ...

Midland Harbour By Terri Hodgson

The Heart of It all

As an attractive destination for sailors and cruisers alike, Midland Harbour doesn’t really have to try hard to impress; the waters of Georgian Bay attract yachts of all sizes from all over the globe. With a history steeped in lumber and boat manufacturing, Midland Harbour today is an integral part of a thriving town, boasting the largest freshwater marina in the world amongst its offerings. The hometown of Sarah Burke, Glen Howard, Adam Dixon and David Onley to name a few, Midland is the heart of the North Simcoe area, the centre of the neighbouring Georgian Bay communities.

Read more about Midland Harbour ...

Lifestyle

  • Prev
A couple of Canada Day recipes to help keep you out of the galley as much as possible and in the ...
On a gorgeous sunny May evening recently, the Canadian Yachting staff were treated to an evening ...
A recipe of perfection when heading out for a weekend cruise...easy to prepare and delicious...
In the heart of the Huronia wilderness, the Jesuits established the first French outpost outside of ...
It is always an interesting dilemma when crossing into another country; what exactly should one say ...
Like many other harbours on Lake Ontario, Cobourg has seen its fair share of changes. Screams used ...
Bermuda is the host country for the 35th America’s Cup, set to take place in 2017, a competition ...
In 1791, a 36 foot sailboat from Spain, captained by Don Jose Maria Narvaez anchored off Point Grey ...
Mark Mattson is a man of gentle demeanor but don’t be fooled by his calm, cool collectedness. This ...
We hear about the plastic problem in our oceans all the time. Scientists on the media talk to us ...

CY Evening Cruise

Terri Hodgson

On a gorgeous sunny May evening recently, the Canadian Yachting staff were treated to an evening sail aboard Lynn and Pat Lortie’s Adamant 1, complete with delicious snacks and Lynn’s custom audio soundtrack, which may have taken us back a few years.

After a long winter and a cool, wet spring here in Midland, ON, it was such a welcome change to be out on the Bay on a calm, warm evening. Prior to setting out from the Midland Bay Sailing Club we enjoyed a glass of wine and a selection of appetizers that were all prepared using the Carnivore Club’s Meat of the Month box.

Read more: CY Evening Cruise ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Like all Lloyd's l00 Al spec yachts you can be sure the Cheoy Lee Trawler 35 is properly built, of ...
Few people ever really define what they mean by “family boat " or what it's function should ...
George Cuthebertson, a household name in the Canadian sailboat industry, is designing on his own ...
When C&C puts a reverse transom on a production boat under 29 feet you know times are ...
  If we were asked to choose one word to describe the CS 36, it would have to be classy. ...
The Great Lakes 33 says Nick Aitken, was the product of “a bunch of sailors who wanted to try ...
Our first time aboard the MGM 50z was in the Yachts Miami Beach yacht show where we had the ...
In recent years, boats like the Century 5000 with good-sized overnight cabins combined with ...
In sailing circles, C&C is arguably one of Canada's most famous companies. And ever since the ...
“The 29er will be to sailing what snowboarding was to skiing", says the boat's co-developer ...

Beneteau GT 35Andy Adams

Great performance in a versatile, modern design

For the Canadian Yachting readers who are not yet familiar with Beneteau’s broad range of power boat models, the Gran Turismo 35 may come as a bit of a surprise. Our test boat is a head-on competitor to the North American built express cruisers and the latest day boats that are coming on the market.

The GT35 has the style and amenities to match the best new designs in it’s size range, the stern drive power to deliver exhilarating high speed performance plus, it still adds in an overtone of Euro style.

Read more: Beneteau GT 35...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Free Wireless Tools Provide Automatic Updates and Enhance Remote Service Support
Back Cove Yachts announces the debut dates for its newest model, the Back Cove 32. Internationally, ...
The brand-new Cruisers Yachts Cantius 54 is heavily protected by fenders as the delivery crew ...
Available in 11 colours, non-toxic, non-hazardous, UV and water resistant, the Hairline Fix ...
Now the climate on board can be a lot more comfortable with two new air conditioning products from ...
FLIR Systems has announced that the latest Raymarine LightHouse OS now includes a graphical weather ...
With the launch of new 2017 yacht, Cruisers reenters flybridge segment...
Beneteau announces the Americas premiere of the new Oceanis Yacht 62 at the United States Sailboat ...
Yamaha’s new offerings give boaters more power, control and peace of mind, with the introduction of ...
Taco Marine introduces marine-grade King Starboard Anti-Skid for preventing slipping in high ...