I’m leaving my sailboat in the water at a
marina in Key West, Florida, this summer.
What maintenance needs to be done while
I’m away? A friend suggested timed-release
chlorine tabs in the raw-water strainers for
my engine, generator, and air conditioner to
prevent algae growth. I’ve never left my boat
in the water before, so I’m really anxious.
Key West, FL
TOM NEALE: First, I wouldn’t leave my
boat in water storage, while I’m away, in that
area during hurricane season. I’d store it on
the hard, properly prepared and secured.
But if that’s not an option, here are a few
things I would do. Close all thru-hull valves.
Post warning signs on all start switches for
equipment (such as engine or air condition-
ing) that uses raw water so that no one will
inadvertently start it while the valve is closed.
Don’t put chlorine tablets in water strainers.
The chlorinated water might damage the sys-
tem and growth is slow there because of lack
of light and oxygen. I’d consider buying a Sea
Flush system to clear passages when I put it
back into service, but you probably wouldn’t
need to do that after only one summer.
MOVE IT OR LEAVE IT?
Should the sterndrive anti-ventilation plate
(above the prop) be even with the bottom of
the boat? Mine is 1/2-inch below the bottom
with the manual tilt rod/pin in the center
hole. Right now it would be fairly easy for me
to raise the outdrive mounting collar on the
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