ED­I­TO­RIAL

Ge­o­graphic di­ver­sity makes for var­ied boat­ing needs.

Boating - - CERTIFIED TESTS - Kevin Falvey, Edi­tor-in-Chief edi­[email protected]­ing­mag.com By Kevin Falvey

After read­ing the sub­ject line of the emailed press re­lease, I was go­ing to write about the “Next Evo­lu­tion of the Koozie” this month. In­stead, I was moved to opine about the less con­tro­ver­sial, though more salient, sub­ject of win­ter stor­age and how it might dif­fer from other vari­ants of boat stor­age. That last bit is a pet peeve of mine. Read, write, pho­to­graph and edit more than 100 dif­fer­ent ar­ti­cles on the sub­ject of stor­ing boats dur­ing the off­sea­son, like I have, and you too may be­come a bit punchy.

The main point I’d like to get across may seem bru­tally ob­vi­ous. But I am go­ing to state it any­way. Most of what is needed to pro­tect a boat and en­gine dur­ing win­ter stor­age is iden­ti­cal to that which is needed dur­ing any long pe­riod of stor­age, re­gard­less of the sea­son or the am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture.

What length of time equates to a long pe­riod of stor­age? Let’s call it 45 days over­all and 30 days for gaso­line fuel.

I’m duck­ing in ad­vance be­cause pub­licly mak­ing such pro­nounce­ments in­evitably proves fraught with haz­ard. Some boaters will im­me­di­ately chal­lenge my as­ser­tion. And they’ll prob­a­bly be right. For the way they use their boats and their spe­cific en­gines, and in the spe­cific area that they boat, the time pe­ri­ods listed may not equate to stor­age. “Hel­looooo, Lake Pow­ell!”

Oth­ers will agree whole­heart­edly, hav­ing seen fresh fuel turn, new me­tal cor­rode, and lovely up­hol­stery mildew in less time than it takes to de­velop a good farmer tan. Here’s look­ing at you, Florida Keys.

Shoot, on Lake Su­pe­rior or Penob­scot Bay, 45 days is the bulk of the sea­son!

This is a chal­lenge we face in pre­sent­ing boat­ing con­tent. The vast ge­o­graphic di­ver­sity of boaters means that any given must for one boater turns out to be a maybe, and some­times even a never, for some other boaters in some other places. There­fore, we ever err on the side of cau­tion.

But aside from the parts about drain­ing wa­ter and en­sur­ing that wa­ter doesn’t col­lect where it will freeze, ex­pand, and crack what­ever it hasn’t drained from, win­ter­i­za­tion is as much about the ef­fects of dis­use as it is cold tem­per­a­ture — keep­ing fuel sup­plies fresh, lu­bri­cat­ing the in­nards of en­gines that are not be­ing run, mak­ing sure flu­ids are topped up and more. If your prop-shaft seal is com­pro­mised and wa­ter gets into the gear case while you’re away from the boat for a month, even if it’s high sum­mer in High Point, North Carolina, you may well have an ex­pen­sive re­pair on your hands.

Or maybe you’ll get lucky and it will take 45 days for the cor­ro­sion to set in.

En­joy the is­sue.

Most of what is needed to pro­tect a boat and en­gine dur­ing win­ter stor­age is iden­ti­cal to that which is needed dur­ing any long pe­riod of stor­age, re­gard­less of the sea­son or the am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture.

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