Winterizing 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.
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.
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.
New rules severely restrict where and how salt-water boaters can discharge sewage. Is your boat ready to comply? In May 2012 a significant environmental anniversary slipped by with little fanfare. It was the end of the promised five-year transition period before new sewage discharge regulations for small craft in salt waters, introduced in 2006-07, took full effect. From 2012 onwards all vessels in Canadian waters, fresh and salt, are covered by the same legislation regarding sewage discharge. Salt-water boaters have a bit more flexibility in pump-out options but the basic rules are now the same for fresh and salt water.
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.