DIY Oil ChangeWinterizing your boat in the fall is important and may be a daunting task for some boat owners.  This is a DIY project that you CAN do on your own though.  Rob MacLeod, The Informed Boater, has put together a how to video with simple step-by-step instructions for completing an oil change, which is a good idea at the end of the season as part of the winterizing process.

Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your boat for a trouble-free season. Here’s a guide from a pro…
Sometimes the most daunting thing about launching your boat in the spring is slogging through the checklist designed to "help" you do it. And no wonder: commissioning efforts for Canadian boaters run the gamut from paying a full-service yard to re-commission every system on board to putting away the one lonely space heater that's been wheezing away on the salon floor since Thanksgiving.

Under sail, these marvels of engineering deliver significantly less drag and greater speed than their traditional fixed-blade cousins. When I started sailing, the economical way to reduce propeller drag on a cruising sailboat was simply to install a two-blade prop. This worked fine – we had one on our 35’ sailboat for almost 30 years. Mind you, it didn't provide a lot of push in steep seas and headwinds, and we often used the mainsail to help punch us through a chop. Folding and Feathering Props

When it comes time to haul out this year, plan to give all your underwater gear a close inspection, measure and replace your anodes now and know you are ready for next season. In the fall, you can do this at your leisure. Understandably, we seem to be in a rush to launch again each spring and once the boat is in the water, replacing anodes is difficult to say the least!

It’s not just a matter of cost – there are simply lots of people who enjoy puttering around on their boats and doing their own mechanical work. There are many useful tasks that an owners can do to keep their own little ship “shipshape”, however there are some things where we say, don’t do it yourself! Generally, your fuel system is not a DIY item. For safety reasons alone, a boat's electrical wiring and grounding systems should always be handled by a qualified marine technician. But, there are other areas where home handyman knowledge can get you into trouble.

A few people winterize and store their own boat. Many of us pay the pros to do it. Spring commissioning is far more rewarding because you are preparing for a great summer with your boat. Winterizing is a tough chore because we usually keep boating until the weather turns nasty, plus you are struggling with that “down-feeling” that the boating season is over. That makes it doubly hard to dig in and do a great job of winterizing and protecting your boat for the winter.

So the boating season has finally arrived and since you have been a diligent owner, all your spring outfitting has been carefully attended to. Everything on that spring check list has been duly checked off and your guests are on their way. The coolers are filled with drinks and snacks and you’re looking forward to great day on the water. However, as experience has taught us, we are at our most vulnerable when our guard is down. Routine can lull us into a false sense of security. Now is the time to make sure you have a proper procedure for departure, one that can make the difference between fun on the water and a day of frustration, or worse.

There is no end of discussion and debate about the fuel filtration needs of diesel engines. Myths and half-truths abound. So let’s set the record straight. Diesel engines are the most reliable of all internal combustion engines; they are robust and they need only two simple inputs, air and fuel. Properly maintained they will perform well for upwards of 15,000 hours before needing a re-build. By contrast, that is about three times the life of a well-maintained gasoline engine.

Even if you are on salt water and your boat can safely stay in the water year-round, are you using it regularly? Metal fittings are corroding all the time, the sun beats down on fibreglass and woodwork, and the rain and damp air all contribute to the slow but inexorable process of deterioration. When engines are used, oil and other lubricants are warmed up, spread around and parts are kept running freely. Air circulates through the interior when you are out and moving. Boats just like to be used more than they like being stored.

It was always a bit sad when we “put to bed” our power-boat at the end of the cruising season. Then, one year, our favourite mechanic suggested creating a service program at the end of this season, rather than the beginning of the next one. Price savings could be had, he explained. From then on we regarded the winterizing phase for our boat as a start of the next cruising season, not the end of the current one. What follows are some ideas to make this as easy as possible — and perhaps even less expensive.

  • Biltmore Fibertoon - Campion Boats - with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Ask the Expert - Marine Solar Panels: Power Considerations
  • Cruising Cape Breton and the Bras d'Or Lake Area with Greg Nicoll of Canadian Yachting
  • Discover Boating's Searchable Dealer Database - with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Trent Severn Fuel Sales with Al Donaldson and Andy Adams
  • Rec Boat Holdings - Andy Gamble on the Merry Fisher with Canadian Yachting
  • Boating Ontario's Al Donaldson on Changes to Trent Severn-Rideau System with Andy Adams
  • NMMA's Sara Anghel talks to Andy Adams about the Industry Day on the Hill
  • Raymarine at 2015 Toronto Boat Show with Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Toronto Brigantine Sailing School with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Ron Huibers of Volvo-Penta with Canadian Yachting magazine's Andy Adams
  • Greg Emerson of Marlow-Hunter with Andy Adams at Toronto Boat Show
  • Swift Canoe & Kayaks talks with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Surf Adrenalin Wakesurfing talks with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Battery Performance and Longevity - Ask the Experts with Rob MacLeod and Canadian Yachting magazine
  • Ablative Paints - Canadian Yachting's Ask the Experts with Rob MacLeod
  • Maryline O'Shea on Beneteau Sail with Canadian Yachting's Andy Adams
  • Maryline O Shea on Beneteau Power with Canadian Yachting's Andy Adams
  • Tour the Chris Craft Launch36 with Canadian Yachting magazine's Andy Adams
  • Cruisers Yachts' Jon Viestenz on the 390 Express Coupe with Canadian Yachting
  • Sabre and Back CoveYachts News, Bentley Collins with Andy Adams of Canadian Yachting
  • Blue Jacket 40 with Bill Bolin and Greg Nicoll of Canadian Yachting magazine
  • How To Winterize your Marine Engine with an Oil Change - Canadian Yachting's How-To with Rob MacLeod

Destinations

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Boat Reviews

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Environment

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Lifestyle

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You won’t find a prettier site in all of Canada (although I am sure that the west coast sailors ...
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This flavour-infused pasta dish is terrific for any season.  It takes a little bit of prep time but ...
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This is a simple recipe too.  The only challenging part is rolling up the tortillas without ...

Marine Products

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Weego has announced the launch of its Weego Jump Starter Battery+ for the marine market. A compact ...
LEHR, LLC has unveiled its new 25 hp Propane Outboard to the worldwide press and the boating public ...
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Just like diamonds, stainless steel is forever. Combining beauty and strength, stainless steel ...
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50 amp cordsets from marine electrical products manufacturer Furrion feature Powersmart™ blue LEDs ...