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Engine Winterizing


Baz

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As I have now retired, and therefore every penny counting, I have now decided to do most of my own servicing etc. I used to have a particular hire fleet operator do this for me, but as I said, every penny now counts, and as it is now getting colder, I would like to " winterise " my diesel engine. As I have never done this before, is there some kind soul out there, who could fully describe the procedure to me. The engine does have a calorifier attached to the cooling water. A weed filter is attached also, and a sea cock,of course. Any advice with be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Baz.

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In that case just get rid of all the potable water then turn the pump off and leave the taps open, drain down the calorifier fresh water which should have a drain cock at the bottom. Turn off the raw water cooling seacock and introduce ECO SAFE antifreeze into the raw water side through the weed filter with the engine running. Mix about a couple of gallons that should do it and you will see that it has fully circulated when it comes out of the exhaust. There are more thorough methods if you want but that should cover most eventualities. Another school is to use an engine room tube heater on a frost stat. Unlike petrol engines it is not usual to “fog†the engine but you can put some oil down the bores by removing the injectors if you can be arsed. Also it's worth taking the batteries home and charging them occasionaly if she is to be laid up for a while.

Bear in mind that what I have descrbed is fairly basic and you can go a lot further if you like. Here's a link if you want to go the full monty.

http://www.iwai.ie/boating/tech/index.html

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A bit of Antifreeze down the shower tray drain wont go a miss either Baz, also open the taps for the shower and hold the hose as low as possible to drain the water out of the pipe. The boat that moors next to me had the shower head split open in last years frosts, so worth considering cheersbar

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I was informed that just an 80w light bulb left on in the engine bay would help guard against frost also, also could be an intruder deterrent, that is assuming you have access to shore supply in which case a couple of those tube heaters on a thermostat is worth considering. Also an old duvet or the like over the engine/battery boxes would not go amiss

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Hi Baz

My winterising regime is basically as described in all the above posts. In addition to this, I also disconnect the hose from the drinking water tank at the water pump and allow this to drain. Before doing this I normally introduce some sterilising powder to the tank just to get rid of any bugs. As the pump is lower than the tank on my boat, I am then sure the tank is empty and there is no water left in the pump to freeze.

When pouring the antifreeze into the weed filter with the engine running, ensure you can kill the engine quickly. The antifreeze will disappear very quickly into the weed filter, and by the time you get to to the kill knob, the impeller could well be running dry and be damaged. This is probably more appropriate for a mid engined boat like mine, where the weed filters are behind the cabin door and it takes me a while to get to the kill knob!

I would also usually leave one battery on board to run the auto bilge pump, and as I am fortunate to be just down the road from my boat, swap this with a fully charged one every few weeks.

If you need a hand, drop me a PM as I am only a short drive from your boat.

David, do you ever consider removing the impeller so it isn't stuck in one position all winter? I never have but have read that some do.... :?

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David, do you ever consider removing the impeller so it isn't stuck in one position all winter? I never have but have read that some do.... :?

There is an argument for doing it Mark and for say an October to March lay up I would certainly do it. I reckon most of the lay up items are a matter of how long the boat will actually lay up for and the local conditions rather than a blanket "set in stone" list. It's worth for instance, slackening any drive belts, some regimes even go as far as slackening the valve clearance adjusters so that all valves are closed and the springs are not under full compression then introducing inhibiting oil into the bores. One point that I do think worth considering is to do your annual service at the same time as laying up so as to have good clean oil in the system without too many acids floating around.

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One point that I do think worth considering is to do your annual service at the same time as laying up so as to have good clean oil in the system without too many acids floating around.

That's somehting I forgot to mention. Last year I did my oil and filter change before the winter, for that exact reason, but did my fuel filter changes at the beginning of this year.

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I must admit,I didn't realize that there could be so many things that could possibly be done. I naturally thought that just a drop of anti-freeze placed in the appropriate pipe would be it, but as suggested, it obviously goes a lot deeper than that, so my request of help, has to me, proved to be a bit of an education, and for that, I thank you all. As for the offer of your help Mark, I fully appreciate it, but as I don't know when I can to my boat next, I'll have to decline, but thank you anyway, really good of you, maybe I should move up to Norfolk eh, one day, one day.

Anyway, thanks to you all for the input, nice of you all.

Baz

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Hi Baz

No problem. It really is pretty strightforward when you've done it once, and certianly not worth paying anyone else to do IMHO.

The offer still stands if you decide you need help. A PM the day before you come up would be enough notice as I am always around.

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I totally agree with all that has been said. As we tend to use the boat during the Winter I don't fully winterise other than drain the water tanks when we leave her.

I tend to rely on several frost heaters and a dehumidifier strategically placed around the boat. As far as Rod said about loosing power, our yard are very good and check on a regular basis.

I do always change the oil & filter as we go into winter, as already said, to reduce the risk of acid damage.

To be honest, with the onset of global warming we don't seem to get the harsh winters of yesteryear and over the past several winters I haven't know the water supply freeze at all in our yard, even when we have had snow on the ground. Only approx 10-15 years ago we used to be in a deep freeze from October onwards. How the climate is changing. :o

Watch this space, now I have said that we will have to worst winter on record. :lol:

cheersbar

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I got caught out last year when we had that really cold snap before Christmas. I hadn't winterised as we intended to use the boat over Christmas, and the cold weather normally comes around January. I hadn't drained down the water tanks (though I had added anti-freeze to the raw water side of the engine), and everything froze solid :o

Luckily, when a thaw occurred we had got away with it, partially I think due to the Hep2o pipework I had used, as this can expand by 7% due to freezing and reduce the chance of damage. It was still a bit worrying though, and I'll make sure I drain down in plenty of time this year and then use bottled water when we are on board for New Years Eve (assuming she hasn't sold by then of course).

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Hi all

I have been following this thread as I hope to be using the boat during the winter - I have some warranty and I want to get the boat used to find out if anything crops up. I could also do with the practice while it is quiet.

Anyway - I am going to try a DIY job. I am fitting engine bay heaters and dehumidifier and a appreciate there is a small risk regarding power. I plan to drain the domestic supply completely and use bottled water.

My question is about the toilet and the seacocks. With the boat in the water I obviously cannot drain these and I have had mixed opinions as whether to leave the seacocks open or close them.

thanks

Wayne

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I have had mixed opinions as whether to leave the seacocks open or close them.

thanks

Wayne

Seacocks should always be closed whenever you leave the boat after a cruise not just in the winter, two reasons, it makes sure they are operational and free, can you imagine not being able to turn a jammed seacock off if a hose went,? Equally importantly, possibly more so, if anything happened when you were away from your boat your insurer would have just the excuse they need not to pay out.

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The only thing I haven't done this year is put antifreeze in the Raw water side.....All I have done is drain it completely. The reason being is that everything the raw water passes through on my engine is bronze so I see little point in doing so, as it wont rust.

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Today I got the engine bay heaters heaters in and set them on a stat at 5 deg. I have a min /max thermometer in the bay so I can keep an eye on how low the temp. gets. Dehumidifer also set going, draining into the sink. The instuctions for this were vague and made no reference to the different settings - "Wet, Comfort, Dry or Continious" - I chose Dry - not sure if thats right :?

I was planning on draining all the domestic water also but I needed a fitting to couple the engine pipes from the calorifier, and then the sun came out so I thought sod it and went for my first single handed cruise.

I must say I am very pleased with myself, several practice moorings, spinning around in the river (under control) and safely back in the marina. :trophy

Now I have got to find a couple of hours during the week where I can escape from work and do what I really should have been doing today.

:!:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another question:

On one of the articles I was reading it told me to disconnect the pipes from the engine to the calorifier and join them together, but as there there is anti-freeze in this side of the engine is this necessary - just it's a pain as they are Hep fittings so difficult to get off.

I will of course drain the calofier of fresh water.

Many thanks

Wayne

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