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Old 26-09-2021, 05:24   #1
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First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Finally got my boat over from the UK and did so in time for some nice sailing this summerNow planning for the boat's first winter in a place where it gets about 20c colder (down to about -25c judging by last winter here in Kingston) than where it was kept in the UK.

In the UK, winterising the fuel tanks (which are plastic) involved filling up with fuel (diesel) to the max and adding some diesel bug treatment to prevent growth.

Is this the best approach this climate? Just wondering whether the approach might be totally different in this climate, eg do you even drain the tanks?

TIA
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Old 26-09-2021, 06:07   #2
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

I always store with full tanks. I don't know anyone who drains them, but I do know a few people that just leave the tanks at whatever level they're at when the season ends.
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Old 26-09-2021, 06:33   #3
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Keep them full with some helpful gunk in them. The big thing to do is look after anything with water in it - both domestic system and engine cooling.
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Old 26-09-2021, 06:59   #4
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
Keep them full with some helpful gunk in them. The big thing to do is look after anything with water in it - both domestic system and engine cooling.
This. Full fuel tanks. Make sure you winterize everything that carries fresh water. Run the antifreeze through the hot water tank and faucets first then do the cold. Donít forget shower heads, seawater washdown pumps, etc.

If you store outdoors ensure the boat is tilted down a bit at the stern so water flows off/ out- the other direction causes freezing of accumulating water which is very bad.

If outdoors and you cover the boat, forget using cheap plastic tarps, the wind will tear them up.
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Old 26-09-2021, 08:55   #5
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

A garboard drain plug is good if stored outdoors.Rain/snowmelt water can leak into the bilge.
Alternately,add a couple of liters of pink RV antifreeze to dry bilge.
Leave all seacocks open to prevent water puddling , freezing,expanding & splitting.

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Old 26-09-2021, 09:44   #6
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Hey there. Are you at POH this summer. I will winter store there this year after a hiatus of 6 years. FYI everyone I know in Kingston fills the tank and then puts in stabilizer.
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Old 26-09-2021, 10:41   #7
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

take care not to overfill the tanks... if completely full, the fuel will expand and overflow when warmed in the Spring. Diesel all over the yard and in the water
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Old 26-09-2021, 10:42   #8
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

the amount of moisture in the air portion of a half full tank (or 3/4 etc) is miniscule and a non-concern
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Old 26-09-2021, 11:13   #9
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Full time liveaboard in Ontario since 1994 some winters in Bahamas but most in Mississauga. Fill the tanks and don't add anything. Well over 20,000hrs in our log and have never used fuel additives and never had a problem. The refineries put in their own additives and know more about it than we do. The rest is snake oil.

Since the US border is closed to us Canadians we'll be wintering onboard at Port Credit Yacht Club again ... without fuel additives.
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Old 26-09-2021, 11:40   #10
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

As most others have said, common practice is to fill the tank, and add a bit of stabalizer. I'm sure BP is correct that it's probably not needed for a simple winter layup. But for the extra couple of bucks, it seems cheap insurance. And you never know when one winter might slide into two, and now three (Covid ).

This is the easiest part of the winterizing process. Run antifreeze through the engine cooling system, and get all the water out of every plumbing fixture and appliance. Most of us run non-toxic antifreeze through these systems, although some use compressors to blow all the water out. I prefer the former solution.

Bilge: I always dump a gallon or so down there (I have a BIG bilge). Garboard drain is ideal (wish I had one). And a decent cover for the snow, sleet, freezing rain and other moisture crap that defines southern Ontario winters is a good idea.

Have fun with your first Canadian winter .
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Old 26-09-2021, 15:27   #11
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Always store with a full tank, otherwise you will get condensation in the tank, I also use a diesel conditioner which has alcohol in it as well a cleaner just as a bonus so the engine will be as nice to me as I am to it.
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Old 26-09-2021, 15:32   #12
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

again... not full full. Leave 10% for expansion. The amount of condensation is miniscule
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Old 26-09-2021, 17:30   #13
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Thanks to everyone who has given me these pointers! I'm hearing the consensus for keeping the diesel tanks full, but not completely full, and with probably the same kind gunk I lobbed in them in the UK.

Interested to hear boatpoker's perspective as well and maybe putting the stuff in the tank is like wearing a posy against the plague, but I probably don't have enough wisdom or local knowledge to plough my own furrow right now.

Also appreciating the tips about plugs and antifeeze. It's going to be learning experience for me this winter - all good :-)
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Old 26-09-2021, 17:32   #14
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardbeg View Post
Hey there. Are you at POH this summer. I will winter store there this year after a hiatus of 6 years. FYI everyone I know in Kingston fills the tank and then puts in stabilizer.
Thanks Ardberg. No, I am at Collins Bay. POH would be closer to home, but the owners at CB have been very welcoming and helpful.
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Old 27-09-2021, 03:20   #15
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Re: First winter at Lake Ontario - fuel tank question

Another point to consider. There is marine antifreeze and marine/RV antifreeze. Make sure you stay away from the RV antifreeze that contains alcohol or your rubber parts can dry out. These usually are the cheaper pink versions for sale for a couple of dollars. On Lake Ontario, I use the minus 60 degree version of non-toxic Propylene Glycol. You can get this at West Marine or your favorite chandlery. ⛵️
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