How and When to Winterize Your Boat and Why You Need a Marine Fuel Bladder for Next Season
The fuel tank is a significant component of any device, typically a car that uses liquid fuel. It’s where gas storage takes place before it burns in an engine. Most of us consider these tanks as metal structures, yet this isn’t always the case. In some instances, marine fuel bladders are functional rather than tanks. If you’re boating, you need fuel to get you to your intended destination with few stops to decrease weather exposure. Having a marine fuel bladder helps enhance fuel capacity while allowing you to buy bulk fuel at a discount. If you’ve run out of fuel while boating, we recommend a fuel bladder, which offers numerous benefits. If you’re a boat owner who’s preparing for winter, our guide will help you understand how and when to winterize your vessel.
When to Winterize
There’s no precise date or timing as to when winterizing should take place. It will depend largely on when the boating season ends in your area. Generally, however, we recommend winterizing before the temperatures fall below 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although one night below freezing point won’t do much boat damage, if you experience several cold nights consecutively, and the temperature doesn’t go beyond freezing throughout the day, your boat is highly vulnerable to freeze damage. This implies that you should be cautious and winterize your vessel before it attains this point.
It’s worth pointing out that every region differs, and recognizing when to winterize depends on the location. For instance, if you’re in the U.S., the time for winterizing differs considerably depending on the coast on which you are and how far south or north you are.
Generally, the northeastern coast will get colder quicker than warmer regions, so you should factor this into your winterizing plans. On the eastern coast, however, you’ll find that temperatures are low enough by December, making it necessary to winterize. That said, it isn’t uncommon to find temperatures dropping below freezing between October and November, so you must begin winterizing during Autumn.
If you reside on the northern side of the West Coast, we advise boat owners to have their vessels winterized by December to prepare for colder weather.
How to Winterize
Whether your vessel comprises an inboard, stern drive, or outboard engine, these winterization steps will ensure preparation for cold weather.
Engine Oil Replacement
Acids and moisture in old oil will typically pit bearings and other engine components during storage, so drainage is necessary. You need to warm up the engine first, while in water, so most of the dirty oil will drain out while impurities flush out easily. Ensure you use quality filters and oil as outlined by the manufacturer and change the filter and oil before storage when it comes to 4-stroke outboard motors.
Drain and Flush Cooling Water
To avoid damage from water once it freezes, you should drain water from the engine. When it comes to sterndrive and inboard engines, use clean water to flush the engine. You’ll need water muffs or a comparable device to attach a garden hose to the cooling system. Afterward, you’ll need to flush until the boat engine attains regular operating temperature. You’ll equally need to eliminate drain plugs, which you’ll find in the manifold and engine block.
Fuel deterioration can occur in as little as 60 days, causing varnish and gum accumulation in the engine. This leads to poor performance, difficult starting, and decreased engine life. The easiest way to prevent these issues is by incorporating quality fuel stabilizers to avoid fuel deterioration. You’ll need to fill your tank with fresh fuel to avoid water condensation through corrosion.
It’s worth noting that draining gasoline won’t prevent the formation of varnish in engines because some fuel always remains behind. Furthermore, gaskets can dry out, causing leaks during spring.
Protect Internal Components
Engine oil typically drains away during storage, leaving internal components exposed to adverse weather elements during winter. This can result in metal-to-metal contact and corrosion, termed cylinder scuffing during spring.
To prevent these problems, a fogging oil spray will come in handy. The product is purposely formulated for deep penetration into the engine while coating components with the anti-corrosive compound.
Gear Oil Replacement
This step entails draining the lower unit of the old oil and replacing it with fresh oil. When replacing the gear oil, we advise you to watch out for moisture. If you notice water emerging first, or see lumpy or milky oil, this indicates that your boat has moisture contamination and requires new seals before the next season.
Lubricate and Grease
Locate your grease fittings, which you’ll probably find situated in the steering mechanism section. We recommend a quality marine lubricant to ensure protection against corrosion, rust, and oxidation. Also, you must examine the manual to make sure you don’t skip any significant areas that require greasing before storage during winter.
The ideal place for boat storage is in a dry place. However, this can be costly, particularly in a region with prolonged winters. We recommend boat owners invest in a durable boat cover at the minimum or simply shrink-wrap the boat.
Marine Fuel Bladder
Numerous tanks feature marine fuel bladders manufactured through industrial sewing. A marine fuel bladder is strong enough to accommodate fuel to prevent leaks and spills. It comprises flexible materials that don’t permit chemical interaction with the fuel while providing the necessary strength for fuel storage.
These bladder tanks don’t just accommodate fuel in a metal tank. They can accommodate extra fuel as well. You’ll find the fuel tanks stored on watercraft for deployment when extra fuel is required. This is essential to prolong a boat’s range beyond the capacities of the ordinary fuel supply.
Functions of a Marine Fuel Bladder
We’ve noted that the significance of marine fuel bladders is growing because more water-based sectors require enhanced mobility for their equipment. A marine fuel bladder isn’t merely for fuel tanks. They can perform other functions because of their flexible and sturdy nature. You’ll encounter their uses in various places. Numerous marine vehicles can’t resupply fuel at normal intervals perhaps because there’s a need for maximum mobility or the marine environment.
Remember, the tanks that perform fuel transportation must be sturdy, with considerable resistance to various climate conditions. They should equally be sturdy enough to withstand tough trips.
Benefits of a Marine Fuel Bladder
Manufactured from plastic and rubber, marine fuel bladders have great resistance to various climatic conditions. They make great fuel containers because of their ability to sustain high-performance levels, irrespective of weather conditions. On the same note, plastic bladders demonstrate high rot resistance, ensuring they don’t suffer damage easily under wet conditions.
If you’re looking to prepare your boat for winter, you should familiarize yourself with winterization steps. This guide outlines the necessary steps while revealing when you need to winterize your boat.