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Old 23 November 2001, 10:41   #1
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Country: UK - England
Town: Surrey
Make: Raider
Length: 6.5
Engine: Mariner 115 4/Stroke
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Winterisation?

What do other people do in terms of winterising their RIBs?

I am very reluctantly putting mine away for the remainder of the year after having a lot of fun in my first year as a RIB owner.

Obviously this is less of a concern to those ribsters who are lucky enough to live in a warm climate or have either a small enough boat to garage (or even a big enough garage for a big boat!)

The two areas I have some concerns about are my outboard (which is a 4/Stroke) and the S/steel under deck fuel tank and have read conflicting articles about how best to store them.

Chris.
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Old 24 November 2001, 10:25   #2
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Country: UK - Scotland
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Hi ChrisD

I'm not sure that I am qualified to answer this one, but what the heck, here goes! Hey, it's never stopped me before!!

My boat is an inflatable (after reading all this stuff about trailers, wheel bearings, light units etc. I'm glad I chose this type of boat). I purchased it last year in August and leave it up at my house in Scotland. I used it over the winter a couple of times (October/February/March) last year and then again in the Summer and Autumn this year. I will be using it again when I am up for Hogmanay next year.

I leave it inflated but take a little air out of the tubes to relieve the pressure a bit. I wash the tubes down with a little soapy water and then spray it off with fresh water. It lives inside in my garage. I flush the engine (Mariner 15hp 2 stroke) out with fresh water as it is used mainly in the sea. I spray the metal bits on the outside with wd40 and put a little oil on the screwthreads of the engine clamp. I give the painted bits a polish with car wax. I prop the engine upright in the corner of the garage and cover it with a dry towell.

I actualy do this each time I am up there (about 4-5 times a year). It takes about an hour or so to do the lot. I want to keep it nice and smart so I think that it is well worth the time. Also I enjoy doing it and feel that it is part of the fun of owning the boat.

Each time I have got the boat out (here I go tempting fate) the engine has started first pull (to you lot with huge boats and massive powerfull engines I should explain that I have a bit of string at the back of my engine that I have to pull on to start it, no electric start for me!!! ). Of course I suppose that an engine and boat as simple as mine has a lot less to go wrong with it that a large boat with loads of electronics.

Okay, now over to the BIG boys.....

Keith (knows his place) Hart
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Old 25 November 2001, 04:29   #3
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Country: Sweden
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Hi Chris,

Modern boat engines are complicated pieces of machinery. I would recommend you to leave your engine to an authorised dealer or service shop for winterisation. At the same time they can perform all scheduled maintenance on your engine.

I have been doing so the last two years. The cost of winterisation and scheduled maintenance for my 2-stroke Mercury 90 is 65 here in Sweden (that of course if they don't find anything broken).

That's not much, is it? I guess you are leaving your car to a mechanic for maintenance and repairs, so why not do the same with your boat engine?

When it comes to my boat, I clean it and release some air from the tubes. And that's all. The boat together with the engine is stored in an unheated garage for the duration of the winter. You may want to remove the battery and store it somewhere warm.

Hope this helps!

Sasa
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Old 25 November 2001, 15:54   #4
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Chris.......

We like to keep our RIB functional over the winter and get out on those crisp, bright (& cold) sunny days! So I don't get the engine winterised but just have it serviced at the appropriate point. The ket think however is to avoid frost damage. So, after use leave the engine trim down (vertical) to enable water to drain out. There is an argument I think for not flushing with clean water as any salt water wont freeze so readily. (Well I'm not 100% certain about that, dountless someone will come up with a reason why that is a bad idea!). The other thing to do if possible is to run the engine in a barrel or bin full of water with a strong antifreeze mix in it.

As for the fuel tank - always leave topped to the brim. That way there isn't space for condensation to form in the tank.

HTH, Alan
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Old 26 November 2001, 04:29   #5
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Thanks for your advice chaps . All sounds pretty sensible to me.

I think I agree with you Alan about not winterising the engine. I had it serviced not that long ago and frankly I don't think I can really last till next mar/april without a blast on a cold sunny morning or two to blow the Xmas cobwebs away. (That is assuming I can sneek away from all the DIY jobs I have let "rest" during the summer )

I have already left the engine trimmed down to let it drain completely and let the tubes down a little, so I will pop down and remove the battery so I can keep it topped up and refill the fuel tank completely. All of which means I will be ready to make a break for it when the opportunity arises

Cheers

Chris.

P.S. Sasa - Like your website. Nice to see what other people are doing with their boats.
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Old 26 November 2001, 06:36   #6
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Hi there

Alan,

I'm not so sure about not flushing the engine out with fresh water BUT I like the idea of putting anti freeze in the flushing water. An easy thing to do, just slop a few litres into the barrel. It would also prevent the barrel freezing up.

So now we await a reason NOT to do this. Any ideas anyone?

Keith Hart
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Old 08 December 2001, 20:11   #7
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Erm, doesn't antifreeze strip paintwork on cars? if so what will it do to an outboard in a bucket ? might be best to stick to the ear muffs and hose routine after ever trip.

Winter storeage should include draining the carbs down by removing the little brass plugs at the bottom of the carbs (on two strokes), must be something simliar on a 4 stroke. The reason is unleaded fuel will evaporate in the carbs and leave initially a sticky residue that then hardens and looks like a varnish. My 115 Yam used to "sneeze" each spring because the varnish built up on the reeds and in the carbs. Which meant a trip to Lee Fairweather in Fareham, to sort it. Mercury have a spray for the cyls which coats them in oil etc. The other way is with 2 stroke oil down each cyl.

Is the hull drained completely ? what happens to the hull/deck if ice forms inside because the boat is on a trailer allowing cold air to circulate underneath? Finally leave the tail down so any water drains away. The dive club always forgets and the first we know is when the boat "up ends" and we have a couple of hundred gallons of water in it, (great for the trailer suspension)
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Old 09 December 2001, 07:28   #8
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Keep the tubes pumped hard, keep a little water in the bilge with a very strong mix of antifreeze, coat all electrical conections with vasaline, and if you really want to be sure run the outboard in a dustbin full of fresh water with a light mix of cooking oil or engineers oil. If it is a diesel boat do the same but put some petrol in with the diesel and give it a good mixup.

This way your boat will always be ready to use with out having to "recommision it".
Alan P
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Old 11 December 2001, 05:44   #9
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Thanks....

Blimey - By the time I have done all this it will be next spring!

No Seriously - Thanks chaps for all your advice.

Have brimmed the fuel tank and got the dealer to spray the cylinders with the Mercury sealer (no problem with the carbs as haven't got any - EFi) and put fuel conditioner in the tank. Tubes are pumped up, engine flushed and drained with the leg down. Put the battery on charge... Half eaten mars bars removed from the lockers and covered in vaseline.

Owner winter months/Xmas maintainance plan:
Imerse in alcohol, feed copuious amounts of rich foods, play ridiculous board games, watch the traditional films for the upteenth time, try on novelty socks/ties/braces/boxer shorts received in various combinations, bore anyone who will listen to death with tales of the sea, argue with the relatives and finally flush with Alka Selzer.
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Old 11 December 2001, 11:27   #10
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Okay, Okay, I've followed most of this so far but why....

Half eaten mars bars removed from the lockers and covered in vaseline.

....cover the Mars Bars in Vaseline?

Regards

Keith Hart
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