It seems everyone is ready for the change of season, most especially boaters. There are many topics to think about as we get ready for warmer weather. In this blog we will discuss some of the more important ones. First let’s talk about gasoline. Fuel distributers will be shifting over to summer blend fuel and stopping delivery of winter blend. For those boaters that have older fuel sitting in their tanks keep in mind that winter blend fuel was formulated for colder temps, running this fuel out as temperatures climb can cause problems. Most of today’s newer more sophisticated engines have ECU’s or ECM’s (electronic control modules/units) that read data fed to them constantly and adjust to try and perform to those inputs. Poor fuel can cause many costly problems and even ruin your engine. Today we must use additives to try and combat the adverse affects on our marine engines. Stop by and we will be glad to discuss the benefits of these products. Products like Ring Free Plus, Internal Engine Cleaner, PRI-G fuel stabilizer, K-100 Fuel Conditioner, Sta-Bil- Honda fuel stabilizer and many more.
Be prepared, as most of our customers are, they understand the importance of preventative maintenance. Most have learned the off-season is the best time to schedule service and any needed repairs. This avoids downtime during the spring/summer season. If you did not winterize – call to schedule service checkups sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the busier we may be. Many customers are already scheduling dewinterizing and bottom painting.
Some important items to keep in mind: water pumps and thermostats are critical to the life of your engine – especially in a saltwater environment. Thermostats should be inspected and/or replaced annually especially in a four stroke. According to most manufacturers today water pumps should be serviced every two to three years (especially in a salt water environment) not just for the components that make up the water pump but also to make sure everything comes apart as it should. We have seen many instances where the lower gear case will not want to separate or the driveshaft key way will not come out due to lack of service. Keeping up with recommended service saves you money in the long run. Also remember simple items like your battery(s). Be sure they are maintained properly and kept charged. If they are suspect, let us load test them for you and make sure they are safe. If you need replacements – remember we stock Interstate Batteries which are fully charged and delivered on a bi-weekly schedule. Speaking of safety – always keep these items on your check list: steering systems – whether mechanical or hydraulic, controls, shift and throttle cables, all fuel and oil hoses, all filters, propeller(s) and don’t forget the trailer. Remember in most cases a trailer equipped with brakes must be inspected annually – in Virginia 3000# gross and over is required to have brakes and therefore needs inspection.
On the sales front we have been busy with new boat orders and customer re-powers. New inventory has been arriving with more to come. Much of this inventory is pre-sold but stock items will be arriving mid-March. For those still looking for that perfect boat or motor please contact us soon. We look forward to seeing all of you for the upcoming season!
For many this time of the year is time to winterize and secure the boat until spring. The term winterize is a very general term and can mean many different things depending on the product being considered. For example winterizing an inboard/outboard is different from winterizing an outboard engine and an inboard/outboard that is fresh water cooled is different from one that is raw water cooled. So first learn and understand exactly what you have.
If you are planning to do your own work make sure you know your product. Consult your owners manual, many are now available for download if you do not have a hard copy. If you are unsure, do yourself a favor and take your boat to a reputable service dealer and have it taken care of properly. Some basics to consider:
Protection from freezing- anywhere water can collect is obviously a problem, use common sense –drain freshwater tanks or protect with proper antifreeze, check all compartments and make sure they can drain, when the boat is hauled and blocked or on the trailer remove the drain plug from the boat.
Protect your engine – Inboard/Outboards will freeze, if yours is freshwater cooled make sure the antifreeze is at proper strength, a raw water engine should be flushed and protected with antifreeze or at minimum drained of any water. Outboards should be stored vertically if possible as water will drain from the power head.
Don’t forget your fuel system! We see more fuel related problems than any other issue. Most manufactures today recommend removing fuel from the tank if possible. Even with stabilizer today’s fuels do not have a great shelf life, this is especially true when the fuel sits in small areas like a carburetor. In this environment: small volume, exposure to air and temperature variation fuel will break down rapidly.
We stock winterizing products from Yamaha, Honda, BRP, Suzuki and many aftermarket suppliers. Stop in as many items are on special for the do it yourselfer. Items like Yamaha Ring Free, Yamaha Fogging Oil, Combustion Chamber Cleaner, all Yamalube products both 4M and 2M even Yamaha oil change kits. Bulk Yamalube, just bring in your container and save! We stock Honda fuel stabilizer- one quart treats 320 gallons of fuel- an excellent solution to the problems created by ethanol. Other fuel stabilizers like PRI-G and K-100. BG fuel products like 44K. Gear case lube from Yamaha, BRP, Honda and Mercury, even gearlube pumps for the do-it yourselfer.
Hope to see you in the store!