Sailors seem to be divided into two camps, winter cover or no winter cover. I’ve played on both teams but I’ve finally become a card carrying member in the cover camp. In the past I used tarps from Canadian Tire, silver on one side and black on the other. Some years I didn’t bother, I didn’t see much of a difference, the old boat was leaky covered or not, and being over thirty years old, the UV had done it’s damage to the gel-coat.
I think it was the day I visited Tortuga last winter when I decided to cover it. There was a couple of inches of snow and ice on the boat. Snow, like rain isn’t my main concern, it was the ice I was worried about, specifically water creeping under deck fittings, into cracks and crevices and then freezing. The freeze thaw cycle has the potential to tear a boat apart, keeping water and snow off a boat is the best defense, short of indoor storage. Continue reading Winter Cover – DIY
Winter always brings a small amount of anxiety for boat owners, get your winterization wrong and you’ve created expensive problems. Fresh water systems get a dousing of pinnk antifreeze, but engines seem to cause confusion. Given that engines are made up of many materials with different properties, such as rubber gaskets, aluminum, brass and steel, coolant additives are important to ensure parts aren’t being corroded by the very liquids designed to protect them. Here is a list of coolants from Mack Boring regarding Yanmar engines.
The coolant/anti-freezes that have been tested and approved are shown below:
- Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze both regular and pre-mixed Product codes 7991 and 7998. This product is available in gallon containers, drums and bulk. It is recommended that the cooling system be drained and flushed before filling. Only Texaco Long Life Coolant should be used for top-off. This product has a much longer shelf life than conventional coolants provided the integrity of the container is maintained. For additional information and availability contact Texaco at 1-800-782-7852.
- Havoline Extended Life Anti-Freeze/Coolant. Product code 7994. This product is available through Texaco gas stations, Procedures are the same as with Texaco Long Life Coolant Anti-Freeze.
- Dex-Cool Long Life Coolant. This product is available through GM service centers worldwide.
- Prestone Extended Life Coolant. Product code AF888. If the above coolants are not readily available, Prestone Extended life coolant is satisfactory.
Full text can be found in this Yanmar service_bulletin: fuel bleeding & coolant
Here is another great link on Yanmar engines: http://nsc.ca/nsc_library/techtalk/dewitte_diesel.htm
To cover or not to cover.
I read lots of forums, blog posts and asked the sailors I knew what they did with their boats for the winter. There wasn’t much consensus, some say why bother, boats are leak free anyway, others warn of the dire actions of snow loads and ice, not to mention the unrelenting assault on bright work from UV. The simple reasons I choose to cover was 1) the windows are a bit leaky, a cover will keep water out 2) I’d like to do some simple maintenance, like bright-work and winch overhauls, digging through snow and ice doesn’t sound fun. 3) six months less UV sounds like a good idea.
Looking stern to bow, you can see the nice loft from the breeze.
I decided on a simple tarp from Princess Auto, it just fits. Four 10′ x 3/4″ electrical conduits from Home Depot fit into the life-line stanchion bases, the mast as cross beam. I’m not sure if there are enough supports, the spacing is about 4′, looks like it might sag between if there is a snow load – we’ll see. I underestimated the amount of rope needed to cover the Tanzer 7.5. Seems looping under the sailboat back and forth is not the most efficient use of line.
I like the fact that the cover seems to funnel air into it, much like an air sock. Not sure if this is a fluke on the location, wind direction or the fact I have the bow open a bit and pointing towards the water? The upside is it stopped the flapping motion and I hope this will extend the life of the cover and help the grommets stay put.