Monday, October 3, 2011

Winterization and Storage the Hamlin's Marine Way

Yes it’s that time again...time to start thinking about putting your boat away for the long, hard winter.  Life is truly unfair.    Don’t worry, spring will arrive soon enough, and your boat will be ready and waiting provided it was properly serviced and stored. 

Many of our customers choose to do there own winterizing.  Hamlin’s strongly suggests that you specifically follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. Yes, that includes buying the more expensive OEM oils and lubricants.  All engine manufactures specially formulate their consumables to provide optimal performance and reduce the risk of serious damage. 

If you have an Inboard/Outboard motor, DO NOT FORGET to drain all of the water out of the engine block and flush your cooling system with antifreeze.  Avoiding to follow this advice will provide you with nightmarish consequences, most commonly a cracked engine block!

The best way to ensure that your boat is properly serviced and stored is to throw your keys to the service department at Hamlin’s Marine.

Hamlin’s will service your boat according to manufacturer’s specifications.  You can be sure that Hamlin’s Marine will:
                   1.   Change engine oil and filter.
           2.   Service gearcase and replace all drain seals.*
           3.   Treat fuel system.**
           4.   Change fuel filter.
           5.   Fog motor to lubricate surfaces vulnerable to corrosion.
           6.   Remove charging battery for separate dry storage.

(*) Worn or rotted drain seals is a common reason for  water intrusion in the gearcase.
(**) Hamlin’s uses a separate, auxiliary fuel tank to treat your fuel system to ensure treated fuel runs throughout the entire system.
We also:
           1.   Completely remove the outdrive from the boat to inspect the bellows and service the gimbal   bearing.*
           2.   Install new mounting gaskets and lock nuts when outdrive is re-installed.
(*) Removing an outdrive is grueling work, but it allows us to replace vital seals and gaskets and guarantee that your bellows boot is not worn or torn.  This extra step can prevent very expensive repairs.

Winterization practices for our large cruisers and sailboats include many of the basic services already mentioned, but may also include bottom painting, servicing fresh water systems, a/c units, heaters, and refrigeration units.  

 Hamlin’s Marine applies the same detail-oriented approach to boat storage.  All of our customers have the opportunity to store their boats in dry, indoor storage.   Many of our customers have been storing their boats with us for years, and we can tell immediately when a boat has been stored indoors.  The paint and finish is less subject to fading from powerful UV rays and there are fewer stress cracks from extreme temperature changes.

Many of our customers request a full detail on their boats which may include cleaning  their boats inside and out,  wax and buff, and treating stainless and wood accents. 

While your boat is in storage, it is a great time to have Hamlin’s Marine take care of major issues.  It may be time to file an insurance claim if you damaged the fiberglass on your boat or if you struck your lower unit during the season.  Winter is also the time to re-power your boat, complete a major restoration, or take care of major mechanical issues.

Stop by our showrooms in Hampden or in Waterville to learn more about marine accessories available for installation over the winter months.  We will assist you in choosing the right electonics, marine accessories, and fishing equipment so your boat is ready to go next season.

Hamlin’s Marine offers pick up and delivery service (please call for rates) as a convenience to our storage customers.  In Hampden, our winter storage rates include launching and loading boats up to 50,000 lbs with our hydraulic lift trailer.

The information provided is intended to be a brief overview of service available to Hamlin’s Marine customers.  We encourage you to contact us via email or telephone with any questions you may have.

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