Boating - - BOAT DOCTOR / Q&A -

Q: Dear Mick, we own a 1985 Sea Ray 250 kept on Lake Pow­ell. We have not used the boat for many sea­sons now and want to get back in the water this sum­mer. It was win­ter­ized be­fore go­ing into dry stor­age. What should be done to en­sure safety and re­li­ablil­ity af­ter be­ing in stor­age that long?

Larry and Diana DiGuglielmo Lake Pow­ell, Ari­zona

A: First, make sure there is no water in the fuel. If you boated any­where but in your dry desert cli­mate, I would rec­om­mend dis­pos­ing prop­erly of the old fuel. There are kits/prod­ucts you can pur­chase that al­low you to sam­ple the fuel. (Sar-Gel paste is one, spatco.com.) You can also send a siphon to the bot­tom of the tank, since gas floats on water. Ac­cess the fuel tank in­te­rior by re­mov­ing the fuel-gauge send­ing unit. If water is found, siphon it out. Carry ex­tra water-sep­a­rat­ing fuel-fil­ter el­e­ments and check your fuel fil­ter’s drain bowl reg­u­larly. Change the el­e­ment as needed.

Re­place the spark plugs, belts and all fil­ters. Lubri­cate all ser­vice points. Change the en­gine oil and drive-gear oil, and charge the bat­ter­ies. Start the en­gine. Make sure the throt­tle and shift oper­ate smoothly be­fore you head out on the lake.

Go boat­ing, be­ing ex­tra at­ten­tive to the en­gine. I rec­om­mend an EPIRB or other res­cue bea­con when boat­ing in re­mote lo­ca­tions like Lake Pow­ell. Be safe and en­joy.

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