With winter absolutely upon us, there isn’t much opportunity to take your boat out and enjoy the water. This means storing your boat in a shed or the backyard, but what happens to the fuel and fluids on-board? Fuel, if left to sit in the tank can start to break down and turn bad in as little as a month. Then comes the damage, the breakdown of the chemical elements can lead to corrosion of parts and lines as well as causing a harmful build up that can mean your boat won’t start when it comes to taking out in a few months. All of this can also reduce the life of your engine and decrease the fun you can have on the water. So, what is the solution? Fuel Stabiliser and regular maintenance of your boat, even in the winter months.
As with anything, fuel deteriorates over time, just like the vinyl on your seats or the fabric on your sail. Elements like water, oxygen and heat speed up the deterioration process of all boat components, and fuel is no different. Unfortunately, once fuel starts to separate, there is no mixing it back together. With some fuels, it would just be easier to drain the engine and lines of fuel and replace after your winter storage. This can be especially true of the E10 fuel, due to its composition.
Draining Fuel Tanks
Do not drain your tank before storing the boat. This can cause more damage to the internal parts of the engine. You are actually better to leave the fuel in the system and drain prior to use after storage. This is so moisture isn’t attracted to the tank and so you do not have to dispose of or store a flammable liquid for long lengths of time, creating another hazard. Your seals and gaskets throughout the engine and lines can also dry out and crack which can cause leaks. So best to store your boat with or without stabiliser and drain the fuel when you are ready to use the boat again.
We have talked about preparing your boat for winter previously. Follow our handy guide for how best to prepare your boat for winter storage.
Safely storing your boat and the fuel on board for winter can be a daunting task, but we have investigated some of the options on the market, and the best we came across in our experience is the fuel stabiliser option. You will need to fill your tank to about 90-95% with new fuel as the stabiliser works best with new fuel. Fuel Stabilisers are a preventative measure, to stop the fuel from separating, so it won’t work on old or dirty fuel that has already begun to separate. Once your tank is almost full, add the fuel stabiliser, run your engine for a few minutes to the stabiliser can treat the whole system and store the boat as needed.
Most stabilisers on the market will keep your fuel fresh for at least the winter months, make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions and warranties before use.
If you intend to store your boat for longer than just a winter, you will need to adjust the amount of stabiliser used, check the bottle for correct ratios. With this little bit of time and care, you can save yourself a lot of trouble come summer when it’s time to bring the boat back out of hiding.
Mark, Nigel and the team provide our clients across industrial, private and commercial fibreglass our professional design and development services as part of the project. We enjoy the challenges presented in boat restoration and take great satisfaction in achieving the customer’s desired result. We use the latest techniques to repair your watercraft, whether it be a small cosmetic repair or a structural modification. Contact Mark or Nigel today, on (08) 8182 4877 or drop in for a no obligation free quote.