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Winterisation part one

October 24, 2011

Bow Thruster

While I certainly wouldn’t describe this as a step-by-step account of our first winterisation process, I have tried to cover the main points.

The first job that we tackled following crane-out was to wash and scrub-down all 32ft of our Macwester’s hull. We used a brush and pressure washer below the waterline, and a soft sponge with a mild cleaning agent plus the pressure washer everywhere else. The trickiest bit was inside the bow thruster; I’ll need to revisit that again before applying antifoul paint next spring.

Speed impeller

Next we turned our attention to the speed impeller. It stayed in during crane-out, as it’s located between our Macwester Malin’s twin keels …so I removed the unit from the hull and gave it and the hull fitting a clean.

Checking the anti-freeze

Following that, with the generous help of a fellow club member, we checked the anti-freeze in our coolant system. It proved to be okay [two floating balls out of three in the tester].

Removing the anti-freeze

As this two out of three result was ‘okay’ but sub-optimal, I decided to purchase new anti-freeze to replace the old anti-freeze that we subsequently pumped-out [see image above].

Salt water filter

Then we cleaned the filter at the point where the raw salt water enters the cooling system. I had thought that might be a messy job, but it was remarkably clean.

Disconnecting the salt water pipe

The next step was to flush the coolant system with fresh water to remove the salt water. At the same time, the oil would be warmed-up and make it easier to change the oil and oil filter. This meant disconnecting the pipe that carried the raw salt water from the inlet [mentioned in the stage above] to the engine, and temporarily replacing it with another pipe.

Fresh water supply

Once that temporary length of pipe was in place, we fed it into a black bucket along with a second hose pipe delivering fresh water from the mains. The image above shows the water being fed into the bucket from the left, with the hose on the right feeding it back out to the engine’s cooling system.

Lombardini revs

After ensuring the Technodrive gearbox was in neutral, we ran our Lombardini marine diesel engine for about ten minutes. We monitored the process from start to finish keeping a close eye on the amount of water in the reservoir [a.k.a. the bucket], and varying the revs/flow of water to ensure a constant supply for the cooling system.

Lombardini marine diesel engine oil extraction pump

After switching our Macwester Malin’s engine off, we drained the oil. This was easier to do than typically described in PBO, as our engine has an oil extraction pump fitted [see top left of photo above].

Lombardini oil filter

Then we removed the oil filter, and replaced it with the ‘spare’ filter our Dutch skipper bought on our behalf prior to our trip across the North Sea.

Well, that was the plan, but the replacement didn’t fit. Fortunately, there is a Lombardini parts supplier 20 miles from our club …so we were able to source a replacement the following day. In the mean time I refitted the old filter to keep the moisture out of the engine block, and we put the oil change on hold until the filter was available. The original Lombardini oil filter as seen above is numbered ‘107.2175.117’, however [for my future reference] that part has been replaced by the part number ‘107.2175.107’.

As it was now low tide, the early cessation of the oil change left me with absolutely no excuse whatsoever to avoid dragging my waders on and going down into the mud to remove our front and rear mooring strops. As you might have guessed, this is not my favourite job but on the plus side it was quite a mild day, the rain stayed off …and nobody noticed me falling over sideways into the brown stuff.

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