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What level you choose to winterise your boat is always a difficult decision, it depends if you plan to use the boat in winter, how close you live to the boat (enabling you to keep an eye on it) and if any other out of water maintenance is due. This means that you can take advantage of our winter lift/storage/service offers. Below are 3 options, the only 100% guarantee against frost damage is option 3.
In the majority of cases your boat engine uses the river water to cool it. This water can freeze, expand and cause severe damage within the engine cooling system.
- If you plan to use the boat over winter, we would at least recommend fitting tube heaters in the engine room, block off the engine room vents and possibly cover the engines with an old duvet / sleeping bag etc but remember to remove these before starting the engines. Obviously, this is the lowest form of protection and may not be enough in severe conditions, it is also completely reliant on constant 240V supply, something that cannot be guaranteed
- If you still want to stay on the boat throughout winter but not go out in it, then the engine system can be flushed with antifreeze, however, depending on the type of engine you have, river water can 'back flush' through the system diluting the antifreeze mixture, Seacock & intake pipes can split meaning the boat could fill with water and potentially sink. Whilst this is unlikely to happen, it is not impossible, this is why we do not guarantee against frost damage if the boat is in the water.
- If you have your boat lifted ashore, the engine can be completely drained down and flushed with antifreeze, with no danger of 'back flush' or sinking. This way we can fully guarantee against frost damage.
Outboard engines are slightly different and should self-drain, as a result, no specific winterisation is required, it is good practice to spray with fogging oil if you don’t plan to use over the winter.
Fresh water and air conditioning systems should be drained down and water pumps disconnected, holding tanks emptied and toilet systems flushed with antifreeze.