Laying up a boat for winter, do you know what's best?

 21st Sep 2011

Pleasure CraftWhen laying a boat up for winter there are many different arguments as to which method is best for keeping the fuel stable and free from contamination. The only method we advise is following three simple rules of fuel management:


2. Recover

3. Protect

Testing - Before laying your boat up for the winter you should have the fuel tested for water, microbial growth and FAME content, together these will identify any hidden problems which may erupt after the winter.
Most fuel testing facilities will advise on what to do from there on, the tests cost from as little as £60 for peace of mind.

Knowledge is key to fuel management and knowing the state of your fuel will enable you plan your season. Fuel samples should be taken from each tank bottom at intervals of six months or less, before and after the season.

Checking fuel filters and water separators can show signs of contamination though they won’t show the real issue. Remember they are the last line of defence against engine failure. Just because your filters are clean does not mean you’re in the clear.

Recover ­ Once the stability has been established, you can start to manage the issue, the report will advise on the next actions to take, IE fuel and tank clean is essential or a double dose with an enzyme fuel treatment is advised and tested again in 2-3 months.

Protect ­ Once the fuel has been brought back into engine manufactures specifications you should protect your investment and treat with a double dose of an enzyme fuel treatment before you press your tanks up (fill fuel tanks full). This will ensure your fuel remains stable over the winter and contamination free, ready for your next season outings.

Other checks and changes

Coolants ­ Should be changed with new anti freeze to prevent cracking of lines.
Lubricants ­ Should be changed, experts agree that engine oil should be changed every year at the end of the season. This ensures that dirt and contaminates are not in contact with bearing surfaces.
Filters ­ Fuel and oil filters should be changed with the lubricant at the end of the season.

Fuel changes

As many will know from the 1st of January 2011 all red diesel will contain at least 6% FAME. Some dealers can supply with a maximum of 2% though the threat of fuel contamination still exists.

Recent studies have shown that FAME reacts at different temperature and causes many various stability issues. One common issue is the separation of FAME, in certain temperatures FAME drops out of the fuel and settles on the water faze which is where the microbial growth thrives. This leaves your fuel unstable, fuel in total may contain 4% FAME though in you fuel tank the top contains 0.1% FAME and the bottom contains 10% or more as the FAME settles out.

To find out more about WP Marine, Soltron or Mobil lubricants, please contact the Sales Team or call 0800 980 6176.

Notes For Editors

The WP Group, headquartered near Southampton in Hampshire, is a leading independent distributor of fuels and lubricants, with a £160m annual turnover and employing 70 people.

Based at Wessex House, Cadland Road, Hardley, Hythe, WP offers a complete portfolio of products and bespoke service solutions across each of its eight trading divisions - ­ Industrial, Aviation, Agricultural, Heating, Automotive, Commercial, Motorsport and Marine.

WP, located by Fawley Oil Refinery, has a 50-year heritage and is the supplier and support specialist of choice to thousands of businesses.

Wessex House
Cadland Road
SO45 3NY
Telephone: 023 8089 7841
Freefone: 0800 980 6172
Fax: 023 8089 8876

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