Scott Croft: So you are putting the boat away for the winter, what wives' tale or half truth have you heard about winterizing or recreational boat? Boat Owners Association of The United States would like to set the record straight by debunking these winterizing myths.
True or False: If a boat has a built-in gas tank, it's recommended to leave the tank as full as possible over the winter with just a smidgen of room for fuel expansion? This is true. Leaving the tank nearly full limits the amount of moisture that can condense on the inside of the tank's walls as outside temperatures fluctuate. This prevents harmful phase separation of ethanol fuel or E10 from occurring. When too much water gets absorbed by E10 fuel it separate into harmful solutions that can damage your boat's engine.
If you store your boat in a rack, check your marina storage policies with respect to fuel tanks. A friendly reminder, never plug a fuel vent, ever. True or False: Gasoline that has phase-separated can be fixed by adding a fuel stabilizer or additive. False. Once gasoline phase separates, end of story. The only solution, have a pro remove the contaminated fuel and water mixture and start anew.
True or False: It's okay to leave a space heater running onboard instead of winterizing the engine and plumbing systems. False. Not only are storm power outages a risk, every winter BoatUS Marine Insurance handles claims for fires from plugs, cords and heaters running unattended. Unless you live in Hawaii or the Florida Keys, winterize the engine even if you are going to be off the water for just a few weeks. Installing a permanent flush system on your engine makes this job fast and easy.