We hope you have had a good year out on the water!
The winter season is fast approaching and with it comes some harsh conditions for your boat, we have put together some tips which will help you get your boat ready for the winter season.
- Give your boat a comprehensive wash down of the hull and tubes
- Remove all bungs to allow water to drain and allow the boat to dry before covering up for the winter period. Any moisture will cause mildew to form. Pots of salt can be placed around the boat to draw out moisture or a de-humidifier can be placed on board.
- Open any compartments to ensure the boat breaths and allows airflow. It is best achieved by propping lockers open and removing items from lockers.
- Cover the boat for the entire period of the winter season. With high winds and rain it is good to place additional strapping underneath the hull or down to the trailer with the additional strap points included on all Cobra Covers.
- Store the boat in a bow up position.
Most engine manufactures warranties state that the engine should be serviced annually, at Cobra we can provide this service for you. We are proud to be an official service centre for Yamaha, Suzuki & Mercury. Please enquire for pricing and workshop availability.
It is always best for your engine to enter the winter after being serviced as it allows your engine to sit with fresh oil in both the powerhead and the gearbox. It also allows any preventative work or repair work to be carried out in a time of year when you’re not going to be using your boat. Rather than missing some of the boating season.
During a service we carry out the following steps:
- Gearbox Oil Change – The gearbox oil change is very important as you are looking for any potential ingress of water to indicate if any of the gearbox seals are damaged or failing. This can prevent a major failure. You are also looking for any build up on the mag plugs which would indicate a high rate of wear in the gearbox.
- Engine Oil & Oil filter (4-Stroke Only) – As an engine runs the oil deteriorates with running and it is important to change this regularly to keep your engine internals protected and running at their best.
- Other consumables which are checked and changed if necessary are; impeller, fuel filter, fuel water separator filter, anodes, spark plugs and thermostat(s).
- Grease is applied to moving parts such as the trim rams and propeller shaft and the engine is given a PTFE protective coating.
- Diagnostics Analysis – This allows us to check any system faults that might have occurred over the season, test parts operation, fault find and produce an engine report.
- Chemical water flush – This is a salt removal chemical that we flush around the engine block to remove any salt build through the season
Preparing your engine for winter:
- Cover your engine up. We recommend OCA outboard covers. They provide a number of engine cover options and all are manufacturer approved and can be branded to your boat name, brand or engine brand.
- Drain the engine of fuel
- Drain the engine or water and flush with an anti-freeze protectant
- Give the engine internals a generous coating of fogging oil
There are two trains of thought on how best to look after your fuel tank during the winter period. However, both have merits and sometimes one method works for certain customers more than others.
- Run the tank down as low as possible. Add a fuel stabiliser to the remaining fuel. This method means that when you put the boat back in the water you are filling the majority of the tank up with fresh fuel. However, it can potentially cause condensation to build up in the tank in temperature changes.
- Fill the tank up and add a fuel stabiliser and an octane booster at the start of the following season. This eliminates the condensation build up but does mean that fuel in the tank has degraded over the winter period. Make sure the boat never points bow down during the winter storage.
The battery plays a big part in the first start up after the winter season, so it is vital that the battery is well looked after. Follow these tips to ensure your battery is in tip top condition;
- Disconnect the battery and clean terminals
- Apply grease to the battery terminals
- Recharge the battery once a month to make sure no discharge and degradation of the electrolytes.
- The battery should be stored in dry / warm conditions.
Where possible move all soft furnishings to a warm and dry environment, this will stop any furnishings from getting smelly and mouldy during the winter season. We would particularly recommend removing all lifejackets from the boat.
Getting your trailer serviced is recommended to make sure it performs just as well next year, over the winter is a good time to get this done. If you are storing the boat on a trailer or recovering the boat from the water here are a couple of top tips:
- After the trailer has been submerged flush the brake drums with fresh water using the flushing kits supplied on all Cobra trailers.
- Tow the trailer a distance after recovery to dry off the brake drums and shoes.
- Reduce the use of the trailer hand brake to a minimum and secure the trailer with wheel chocks and DO NOT leave the hand brake on during winter storage.
- Grease moving items such as the jockey wheel and number board winders
- Store the trailer boat separately to the trailer and inside to prevent the light contacts corroding.
We offer a ‘winterising’ package. Enquire for more details