Whether you spend long weekends anchored out on your boat or
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Great Lakes BoatUS April 2016.indd 1 2/24/2016 3:12: 20 PM 78 | BoatU.S. Magazine APRIL | MAY 2016
5WATER IN THE FUEL: BoatU.S. recommends leaving gasoline fuel
tanks full over the winter to prevent
condensation and avoid problems with
water absorption and phase separation
of ethanol. Even assuming you laid the
groundwork by treating the fuel with a
reliable stabilizer last fall, you still can’t
count out condensation. So before you
launch, drain the fuel/water separator to
be sure the fuel in it is 100-percent free
of water. Then halfway through your
shakedown cruise, check the bowl and
drain it again, if necessary. Give it another
look-see when you return to the dock.
Make a habit of checking that bowl
regularly throughout the season, and be
sure you spin off the cartridge completely
and check it for corrosion at least once
this summer – these things are notorious
for becoming rusted in place. If your boat
runs on diesel, pump a pint or so into
a plastic bottle from the bottom of the
tank and let it sit for a few hours. Make
sure no water separates out and that the
diesel is clear. If the diesel has water or
algae in it, see if you can arrange to have
your fuel polished, or filtered multiple
times to clean it, through your boatyard.
Gasoline can also be polished to remove
contaminants and water, but make sure,
if it has ethanol in it, that it hasn’t phase
separated. If it has, the octane level will
be too low and could damage your engine.
6BROKEN BOOTS: Sterndrive boots are notorious for leaking, and for
good reason. Cracking due to age is
the usual culprit, but it’s important to
remember that a boot that looked good
in the fall can deteriorate a shocking
amount over the winter, especially if it
sits in the same position for the entire
time. You’re probably already aware of this
issue, so we’re pretty sure you’ll closely
examine the creases for any visible cracking before, during, and after raising and
lowering the drive. And we have complete
Contaminated fuel is a major cause of
breakdowns. This fuel has separated
into gasoline on top, and water on the
bottom. This requires draining the tank
If you have
boots on your
they look like
this, don’t even
think of launching until