TOM NEALE: It depends in part on the
type and brand of antifreeze. A good
rust-inhibiting antifreeze might help in
this situation, but results may vary. If one
were to rely on an automotive product
for this purpose, it’s important to read
the label and determine what the antifreeze manufacturer says as to the performance expectations of the product.
Purchase an automotive product with a
Due to the seriousness of the issue,
my preference, if I were to store my
engine, would be to flush it thoroughly
and use a product made specifically for
marine use – even if it costs more. As
an example of what’s available, Star brite
says that while its antifreeze products do
contain additives to help protect against
corrosion, it also has an engine-flush
product and Salt Off, a product specifically intended to remove deposits and
salt. CRC also makes Salt Terminator,
specifically intended for this general purpose. Keep in mind that some antifreeze
products are harmful to the environment
if flushed into the water – and doing
so may be illegal – so drain as much
antifreeze from your systems as possible
while on land, and dispose of it properly.
Fuel and storage
We’re doing the Great Loop on a
1989 Bayliner 3888 with twin 351 U.S.
Marine gas engines and twin 150-gallon
fuel tanks. In the past, we’ve wintered
for three to four months in Alabama or
Florida, but this winter our boat will be
inside “heated” (nonfreeze, 40 F) storage
from August to June in Michigan.
Historically, I’ve filled the fuel tanks
to minimize air space for condensation
and water formation, and treated the fuel
with stabilizers. But I’ve never had the
boat laid up and inactive this long before.
I’m also concerned that I’ll have ethanol-blended fuel in the tanks by then. Is there
any merit to an approach of running
the tanks down as empty as possible for
winter storage (and maybe still treating
what’s left with stabilizers), then filling
up with fresh fuel six months later?
ASK THE EXPERTS
BY TOM NEALE
ASK OUR EXPERT Our technical editor and DIY guru Tom Neale, creates this column from correspondence with our members.
If you have a boat problem that you can’t solve, email us at Magazine@BoatUS.com or search our website for answers.
I saw your response about protecting exhaust manifold risers from saltwater in the
Aug./Sept. 2017 issue, and I have a question: For a person not regularly using his
or her boat in saltwater (for example, someone with a vacation boat in another state
that is going to experience a few months between uses), could you fill the risers with
marine antifreeze after flushing like we do up north for winterization? I realize that
freezing isn’t the issue here, but could the antifreeze potentially neutralize the salt
and hold it in solution until the next use? Marc Randulich, Illinois