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  Winterization & gas -- full or empty tank?

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Author Topic:   Winterization & gas -- full or empty tank?
SeattleDauntless posted 09-24-2006 12:02 AM ET (US)   Profile for SeattleDauntless   Send Email to SeattleDauntless  
Not ready to call it quite yet (in facts, it was a beauuutiful sunny day in Seattle today) but as I was
out on the lake, i was thinking about gas. Specifically,
what to do with it for winter given the water absorption
of ethanol.

So, is it better to drain the tank all the way down for the
winter (given there will be a little gas left any way you
look at it) or, should I fill it to the max, put in some
fuel stabilizer and be sure to top it off if i run it for
a while?

also, if i were to run my boat one to two times a month,
would I even have to bother winterizing it? We do get a
few nice scattered days in Seattle during winter.


gorji posted 09-24-2006 02:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for gorji  Send Email to gorji     
I usually fill the tank and then add stabil.
But leaving nothing in the tank has its merits too as others will surely attest to.
rumrunner posted 09-24-2006 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for rumrunner  Send Email to rumrunner     
Search the topics here, and you'll find some informative threads with a lot of information on this topic - and no conclusive answer.
There are different thoughts on this issue, and personally this year I'm going to try the half tank method. I don't want 90 gallons of bad fuel to start the season off with, nor am I thrilled with the corrosion potential that the completely empty tank method presents.
K Albus posted 09-24-2006 12:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Boston Whaler recommends that you remove all fuel from the tank, or if you cannot remove all fuel, then to fill the tank completely.

TRAFFICLAWYER posted 09-25-2006 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for TRAFFICLAWYER    
I did read someplace that suggested taping closed the vent may prevent condensation?
JMARTIN posted 09-26-2006 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for JMARTIN  Send Email to JMARTIN     
Most of the gasoline sold in Seattle does not have ethanol in it. Stay away from Arco and other gypos. If the gasoline does have ethanol in it, the pump should be labled as to such content. We do not have big temperature swings, fill the tank, put in a stabilizer. John

SeattleDauntless posted 09-27-2006 04:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for SeattleDauntless  Send Email to SeattleDauntless     
Thanks John. I am thinking of not winterizing, but making sure to re her at least a few times a month.
thediscusthrower posted 09-27-2006 01:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for thediscusthrower  Send Email to thediscusthrower     
I put STABIL in BEFORE EVERY fill-up. I also put more in than is generally recommended and never really allow the tank to go below half-full. I also put in a bottle of Sea Foam every couple of tankfuls.

At the end of the season, I put twice as much Stabil and leave the tank completely filled. At that point, I do the winterizing thing, i.e., running the STABILized fuel into the outboard's fuel system. Then I take advantage of the OMC/Evinrude petcock and run the fogging oil into the motor. I also spray each cylinder with fogging oil after removing the spark plugs and finish by spraying the carburators.


Boboe posted 09-30-2006 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Boboe  Send Email to Boboe     
I found the link to the whaler information very interesting. I have a 160 with a 45 gallon tank that is built into the hull. According to the link I need to inspect my tyank for water. How does one do that since the tank is under the deck? As a follow up, how would one drain the tank and dry it if there were water in it?


SEGrin posted 09-30-2006 10:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for SEGrin  Send Email to SEGrin     
The simplest way is to remove your fuel filter and pour the contents into a glass container. If there's water present, you will see beads in the fuel. If you have a major problem, you might see it separate out (water will be at the bottom).
If you want to get anal, you can go to a service station supply company and buy water detecting paste. Remove the access for your fuel gauge, put the paste on the bottom of a yard stick and dip it all the way to the bottom of the tank. If water is present, the paste changes color. It would be a good idea to tip the boat so that that end of the tank is low.
Personally, I never wanted to know that badly.
I add StaBil before each fill-up along with Mercury's additive, keep the tank full all winter, change my fuel filter every 100 hours or so, and am very careful where I buy my gas.
PDM posted 10-05-2006 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for PDM    
Here is a tech advisory issued by Brunswick's CBD regarding ethanol blends. Based on this I would be reluctant to leave a tank of ethanaol blended fuel in the tank all winter.

The link is to BW Tech Advisory #07-001 which I found posted on the Chatham Harbormaster's website.

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