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2 and 4 stroke - Applicable for overwintering \Servicing

Run the engine on muffs for at least 5 mins to clean out salt and to warm it up. Have a look at the flow from the 'pee' pipe, if it is dribbling either you have salt deposits blocking the engine waterways or you need a new water pump impeller.

Remove the plugs and squirt in some fogging oil ( Quicksilver Winterising is one ), turn engine over to distribute oil and replace the plugs. When you fire up next time run engine until it runs clean and then replace plugs. The old ones are then spares. These plugs are known to be good whereas a new plug from the box could be faulty.

Remove top and bottom slotted screws on gearbox bullett. Drain gearbox oil, if it is clear you are OK, if it is milky get help. Replace by filling from the bottom hole and when it comes out of the top hole it is full. Get the bottom pug in quickly followed by the top.

At the bottom of each carb there is a brass nut, undo it 1/2 turn and fuel will come out. Drain all the fuel from each carb starting at the top. Nip the nuts up afterwards.

Take off the prop and grease the splines, check you havn't got anything round the shaft, bit of line trapped there can work under the gearbox oil seal and cause a world of grief.

Grease all points on the engine with a grease gun filled with a lime based grease and give the steering tube a squirt with Wurth spray grease when fully extended. Store in the fully retracted position to stop water ingress into the inner tube. Inside the cable is all mild steel.

Check the anodes on the engine, any that are 50% gone should be replaced.

Give the engine an all over squirt with Duck oil, or WD at a pinch. A squirt of Wurth on all the moving linkages is worth while

4 stroke only,

Drop the engine oil and remove the oil filter, replace filter and top up with fresh oil. Use the oil recomended by the mnufacturer, it is dearer than normal 4 stroke oil but contains additional addatives for marine use. It is a once a year cost so not worth saving a few bob IMHO.


Give the outside a good wash down and dry, touch in any paint chips and when all dry give the exterior a coat of wax polish. Leave this on without polishing to protect the paintwork from the weather. A wash over and polish next time you use it will bring it up to spec.

Take the battery out of the boat and stand on plenty of newspaper in a shed, trickle charge once a month.

Top up your fuel tanks to the top and close the breathers to stop water ingress and condensation. OR empty them completely and store upside down with the caps removed. Check the hoses and bulbs or signs of cracking, perishing. Check the fittings at the ends of the fuel lines, especially the 'O'ring seals. any damage replace them.

Take all the removable electrics off the boat, wrap in a towel and hide at the back of the airing cupboard, it will do them good. All the electrical connections will benefit from a dab of vaseline. Have a look at the end of the ariel co ax cable that goes into the VHF, if it is black the conducter is corroded. Cut it back to fresh metal and remake the connection. It is surprising how many VHF faults are down to this.

Check your flares are still in date and any auto inflate life jackets are in good nick. Check the CO2 cannisters are tight, they tend to work loose with the engine vibes.

Take the rope off your boat and give it a wash in warm water and washing powder, it picks up loads of sand and this causes wear inside the rope. Rinse in plenty of cold water and coil, hang it in a shed out of direct sunlight to dry. Check all the shackles on the anchor gear are nipped up and not rusty.

Wash the trailer with warm soapy water to get rid of salt, Check the wheel bearings, rock the tyres side to side any play replace the bearings. While the trailer is jacked up spin the wheels, any graunching, replce the bearings. Take the bearings out clean them and check, if any signs of rust at all, replace and regrease. Check the tyres for damage and if you are leaving the boat for any length of time jack up and block off, this gives the tyres/ suspension a rest and stops flats forming on tyres. Grease the tow hitch and linkages. Any signs of rust on the trailer metalwork will benift from a wire brushing and a coat of a Zink rich primer followed by a cold galvanising paint. The trailer rollers should be checked for flats and the pivot pins dosed with Wurth spray grease.

All I can think of but I am sure I have missed plenty, someone will fill in the blanks

If you get stuck on anything shout.

Sorry for the length of the post
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