Check out a companion article on how to WINTERIZE YOUR RV
You love your boat and you use it all Summer. From week-long trips to weekend trips to day trips, you get the very most out of Summer and your boat. As much as you use your boat, you also take the time to make sure it is taken care of. This means wipe downs after leaving the water, fuel fill-ups, mechanical check-ups, and taking the proper steps in the offseason for storing your boat.
Many people know all about the “winterization” process of boats. It isn’t good for the boat to just sit there for months and months without preparing. In the past, you may have taken your boat to a specialist and had some work done in preparation for the close of boating season. This specialist (and perhaps your boat’s owner’s manual) have suggested draining the fuel tank. This has been a common practice in the winterization process. Fuel will go stale and bad when left for long periods of times. This ruined fuel wreaks havoc with your boat's engine.
It seems pretty obvious that running your boat dry of fuel or draining the fuel tank is the way to go to protect the engine in the off-season. However, draining your tank can actually harm your engine and related equipment. Draining the tank can mess with the basic functions of your engine. The engine relies on three basic elements to work.
Clean air should always be available to your engine as long as the air filter and air intake are taken care of. Caring for and replacing spark plugs takes care of the spark element. However, getting proper fuel to the spark and air so that combustion can occur can be tricky, especially if your tank has been drained of fuel. (Obviously, it would be tricky with no fuel! We are talking even after fuel has been put back in the tank.)
Draining the tank can harm the heart of your engine. The carburetor is the heart of your engine. It blends the air and fuel in a way that makes combustions possible. Without this combination, there would be no combustion. No combustion – no power. When you drain your tank of gas or fuel you are putting undue stress on the carburetor.
With an empty tank and system, there will always be small drops of fuel left over. These drops are attacked by oxygen and can become gummy debris areas. If this debris is the wrong place it can cause serious damage. Additionally, when the tank is emptied of fuel this leaves space for oxygen to take its place. Where there is oxygen there will be water. The moisture can collect and cause corrosion in the tank, fuel lines, carburetor, or cylinders. Later, when fuel is put back in the tank your engine can get a big gulp of the oxygen which can lead to catastrophic engine failure.
One more danger of emptying your tank is that fuel system pieces that are made of plastic or rubber can become brittle and break when repeatedly exposed to air. These pieces were designed to be submerged in fuel at all times.
So, what can you do? You can’t just leave fuel in all winter. We already discussed that leaving fuel in is a no-no. Or is it?
You can use a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel fresh over the winter. However, you can’t just throw in some stabilizer last minute and expect everything to be great when you go to fire up the boat in the Spring. Here is how you do it:
- About a month before you stop boating for the season (or at the very least the last time you fill up before your last boating trip) start using a fuel stabilizer.
- Before you put your boat away for the winter, fill the tank about 90-95% and be sure to add the appropriate amount of fuel stabilizer.
- Run the engine for a few minutes. This will ensure that there is stabilized fuel in the carburetor.
*You should consult with your boat manufacturer, but as long as you know that stabilized fuel is in the lines and in the carburetor, your boat will fire up when it is time to party next Spring and Summer.
**CleanBoost Maxx Fuel Supplement is mostly known for improving horsepower and fuel economy. However, CleanBoost Maxx is also a fuel stabilizer and can protect your boat's engine during the offseason.
What are you waiting for? Get some CleanBoost Maxx and protect your boat or RV this winter!