Ownership: Winter storage of aluminium boats and fuel requirements

Winter storage of aluminium boats and fuel requirements

Maintenance & Care

Clean your boat thoroughly both inside and out before winter storage. Allow the boat to dry fully after washing. Dirt and moisture create ideal breeding grounds for mould and mildew.

Once the boat has been lifted out of the water, open the rear drainage stopper to allow any remaining bilge water to flow out. At the same time, inspect and clean the suction pipe of the bilge pump and remove any dirt. Remember to close the drainage stopper before launching the boat into the water again.

If it is not possible to store your boat in a heated space, remove the canopy, textiles, tools, anchor and other equipment that may corrode or become mouldy in damp conditions. Ropes should be washed in fresh water.

Cover your boat to prevent any snow from getting inside, but provide adequate ventilation. The boat cover and its fastening lines should not come into direct contact with the boat’s surfaces, as they can cause damage when moving. Never use the boat’s canopy as a storage cover. Remember to consider the potential weight of snow on the boat, especially on glass surfaces, to prevent damage to the boat and its components.

Always store the boat with its stern slightly higher than the bow and with the drainage holes open to allow any accumulated water to drain away. 

Before winter storage, service the outboard motor according to the manufacturer’s instructions or have it serviced by a professional.

Electrical equipment and winter storage

Charge the battery fully before the winter and clean the terminals. An empty battery can freeze and break over the winter. Store the battery in a cool place and charge it once or twice during the winter.

Spray a thin layer of dehumidification and anti-corrosion spray to the electric system’s connectors to protect them during the winter.

Spring maintenance of your aluminium boat

Inspect and service the fire extinguisher in your boat regularly. Always comply with the regulations and recommendations of local authorities and insurance companies when servicing and selecting a fire extinguisher for your boat.

Charge the battery, attach the battery terminals and spray protective oil onto the clean terminals. Before launching the boat into the water, inspect the protective zinc anodes on the hull and motor. The anodes should be replaced when one-third of the anodes has worn away. If you intend to use your boat in fresh water only, use magnesium instead of zinc anodes.

Fuel requirements

Buster recommends the use of 98E5 petrol with 5 percent ethanol by volume for boats with fixed fuel tanks.

Always check the suitability of fuel according to the engine manufacturer’s recommendations.

Yamaha outboard motors manufactured since 2003 can use fuel with up to 10 percent ethanol by volume (95E10). The boat’s fuel system must have a water separator and 10-micron fuel filter.

The recommended fuel for two-stroke Yamaha outboard motors is 98E5.

During long periods of storage, light compounds can evaporate from the fuel, making it hard to start the motor after the winter. The easiest way to prevent start-up problems in the spring is to use fresh fuel. You can also use small engine fuel the last time you run the motor before storage, as small engine fuel remains fresher for longer periods. Fuel additives are not required, as the fuel sold in gas stations already contains all the necessary additives.