Days are getting shorter, the nights a little cooler.

This can only mean one thing, haul-out time is soon approaching.

Large Vessel Storage
As I do every fall, let me remind you to expect extremes in the weather from here on out. One minute it’s 85 degrees and the next it’s raining cats and dogs with gale force winds. Please double check to see that your dock lines are adequate in both size and number. With the water levels beginning to drop, you’ll also want to allow for added lines lengths if you plan to be away for any period of time before your boat is hauled for the season. If you’re the owner of a deep draft sailboat, you may even want to consider hauling a little earlier than normal.

When you’re thinking about all of those fall items as you prepare to come out of the water, it would be worth while to take a few minutes to locate and inspect the condition of your cradle. You have a large investment in your vessel and it spends nearly half its life on dry dock in some of the worst weather Mother Nature can throw at it. Keep in mind also that all cradle boats here at Katlynn Marine need to be moved on our yard trailer to its storage position in the yard whether you store inside or out. The cradle must be strong enough to carry the load. If we find at haul out that, in our opinion your cradle is not up to the task, we will refuse to take your boat from the water until the problem can be addressed. If you need assistance repairing your cradle, please contact the service department as early as possible.

For those of you with a dingy, I’d like to report that the dingy crane that sits on the barge between J and K dock is operable with the use of an extension cord for power. Remember that if you choose to store your dingy on one of our racks, be sure and secure it to the rack. If you don’t, I can almost guarantee that it will take flight sometime during the winter.

Boaters often come to me with their boat winterizing questions and concerns. I try my best to advise on the simplest and quickest methods to complete the task. When the service department at the marina is hired, we want to use the most secure system as well as the quickest, so we try and replace all water products with antifreeze.  The three main applications for antifreeze are potable water systems (drinking water), sanitation systems (heads) and engines.  Antifreeze is primarily ethylene glycol (normal automotive antifreeze)or propylene glycol (non-tox  antifreeze). Ethylene glycol makes a good antifreeze/coolant for the engine, but is deadly poisonous to pets and wildlife. Propylene glycol is odorless, tasteless, biodegradable and nontoxic. While it is slightly more expensive to produce, it offers a combination of safety and effectiveness that makes it the superior choice for marine use. We use this product for all of our winterizing needs. If you decide to complete this job your self, you may come across a form of antifreeze that contains alcohol and is somewhat less expensive. I would caution you to steer away from this kind of product because of its corrosive effect on lines and hoses. The only place that you need to use ethylene glycol is in the closed cooling system of the engine. Just like your automobile’s radiator, this part of the engine requires additional corrosion protection that the other non-toxic antifreeze doesn’t provide. The good news is that the engine usually already has this product and you’ll only need to check it’s cooling value. When buying one of these products you are primarily paying for the amount of propylene or ethylene glycol in the bottle which can vary from 25%-95%. That’s why lower temperature rated products are more expensive. No matter what type of antifreeze you choose, be sure and follow the manufacture’s instructions.

Anyone that is requesting engine service and/vessel winterization this fall, we ask that you please remember to leave your engine and owner manuals on board for the technicians use. Each boat we board is different from the one before it and the less time it takes to locate your hot water heater, decide on your engine filter types or determine how many air conditioning pumps you have, the less time we have to spend completing those tasks and the less money it will cost you. Remember that it is your responsibility to see that your fresh water tanks have been run or pumped dry and that your waste holding tank has been pumped prior to any winterization service.  If you choose to complete your own engine oil service, leave your waste oil products in a clear plastic jug and deposit it next to the waste oil tank located between the two large storage buildings. If you need a container, see one of the service guys in the shop and they will provide you with what ever number of plastic jugs you might require. Your help would be appreciated.

 In summary, I again offer this Fall/Winter check list:

  1. Pump out holding tanks. Winterize heads.
  2. Drain water tanks by running faucet until empty. Winterize H2O systems.
  3. If gas engine, fill fuel tank and add stabilizer.
  4. If diesel engine, just add a stabilizer and an algaecide such as K-100.
  5. Pump out and dry bilges.
  6. Provide engine oil service to engine and generator.
  7. Winterize engines at or after haul out.
  8. Fully charge your batteries and leave on board for storage.
  9. If storing outside, consider covering at least the cockpit. This prevents excessive snow and ice loads from accumulating in the cockpit. If storing inside, draping a light plastic cover over vessel will leave a cleaner boat in the spring.
  10. Check that the Marina office does have your boat keys or combination. Even though you gave them to us in the spring, sometimes they lose their ID tag or get misplaced in our key box (we have over 200 key sets and most look similar).

Anyone requiring work on their boat over the winter should let Kevin in the service department know as soon as possible. We have a limited amount of time to complete a lot of work over the winter months and it has to be done on a first come, first served basis. We have over 200 boats layed-up at Katlynn Marine and spring comes around a lot sooner than you think.  For those of you that don’t know, we can handle just about any type of repair that you may need from complete engine rebuilding, bow thruster installation, total hull and deck painting and most types of structural and cosmetic repair. We have many years of experience in this type of work and would be happy to talk with you about any project you might want to have completed during lay-up.

Here’s wishing you a pleasant fall, the absolutely best boating season of the year.

Bill Van Gee