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Old 18-09-2010, 21:39   #1
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How Often to Turn Motor Over with Boat Lying at Mooring

Hi

My partner and I have purchased our first yacht and it will be lying at its mooring until we can pick it up.

1) How often will the motor need to be started in our absence?
2) Will the heads need flushing regularly?
3) Are there other general maintenance to consider for a boat lying for a length of time?

Thanks Alex
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:44   #2
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How long are we talking about?
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Old 18-09-2010, 21:56   #3
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Can't get to the boat till end of December
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Old 18-09-2010, 22:10   #4
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Originally Posted by felixqld66 View Post
Can't get to the boat till end of December
It wouldn't be the end of the world if you didn't touch it till then. Plenty of boats go six months between any activity, although it's not ideal and you don't want to do it a lot. But I wouldn't break your back trying to get it going, if it's just going to be this once.

My ballpark for a diesel engine is that once a month, at minimum, you should have it at operating temperature in forward under load for at least 20 minutes. You can just stress the docklines if you like, or just take it out and zip around the harbor under power.

Also important (to me) would be to change (or at least check) the oil before you do anything, make sure all the seacocks operate (they should shut and open), and replace the raw water impeller. Switch out the fuel filter as well, especially if it doesn't have an inspection glass bowl that you can see into.

It might seem like a lot but it really isn't. You can have it all done in a morning, easy.

Shut all the seacocks though. Don't leave a boat sitting there with the seacocks open.
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Old 18-09-2010, 22:42   #5
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I would leave the ones for the cockpit drains open.marc
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Old 19-09-2010, 04:20   #6
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We have a long list of items to take care of when leaving the boat for an extended period.

You can either run the engine about once a month or do the winterization as mentioned in the engine manual. A lot depends on whether it will be freezing where your boat is.

Do take care of the batteries, you will need them for starting the engine. With good batteries you should not have problems if you run the engine once a month. But run the engine long enough to recharge the battery (might be about an hour, depending on the state of your battery).

Keep the fuel tanks full, to prevent condensation moisture.

Empty the water tanks, water will go foul over that period. If there is a danger of freezing, also blow through all fresh water systems, to empty all hoses etc.

Toilet water might start smelling bad as well, flush it whenever you have a chance, unless you winterized it as well.

Close all hatches! that prevents water ingress during heavy rain. But have all dorades or whatever ventilation system you have open. To further prevent mold, remove all cushions and matresses and open all enclosed spaces and lockers, even the bilge.

And remove all food, that is not in tins or glass. Helps keep the crawlers out.
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Old 19-09-2010, 05:00   #7
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Boat is in the tropics so no worries about freezing at least, all good tips am trying to find a local yachtie to look over it for each mth. Has a solar panel for charging so that may increase the time between start up?

Thanks Alex
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Old 19-09-2010, 06:07   #8
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It does, as far as the battery goes. Doesn't do anything for the acid accumulation inside the engine (that is the reason you have it running once in a while).

But you can make it easy on yourself by doing the winterization. Should not involve more than the normal maintenance and spraying oil inside the cylinders to prevent corrosion. And take the batteries home and recharge them once a month.
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Old 19-09-2010, 06:26   #9
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Congratulations!

Pump out & flush the holding tank /w fresh water, then re-pump dry.
Flush the heads with fresh water once a month, enough to rinse & fill the discharge hoses.
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Old 19-09-2010, 09:43   #10
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I was told it was good to run a vinegar/freshwater mix through raw water cooling before storing for long periods,(in tropics).
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