"It's Fall, And Time To Get Busy"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Whether you live in the Thumb or the metro area, the list of fall chores is very important. It’s easy to say, “I’ll do them next week,” because it’s still warm out and there are fun things to do. If you pass on doing them too many times, you may be caught by poor weather which makes the work very uncomfortable.

You probably have a list, but if not, make one. Some ideas may include winterizing vehicles; cars, boats, personal watercraft, generators and gas-powered equipment. Pour stabilizer in each tank you transfer fuel with, then fill with fresh fuel. Using this fuel, fill all gas powered equipment. If you plan to continue using any of them, it’s still a good time to use the stabilizer. It will clean out the tank and filters, especially those with ethanol fuel in them. Ethanol may cause extensive damage if left in the equipment for an extended time. Don’t forget your scooters, motorcycles or any other motors that run on gas. Be sure to treat that back-up generator if you want it to work when needed.

Make sure all your small, gas-powered tools; mowers, trimmers, chain saw, blowers, etc. run with the treated fuel. When you fill your small device tanks, be sure to start them up even if you don’t plan to use them the rest of the year. The objective is to treat and clean the entire system. If you do continue using these tools, remember to refill them with the treated fuel.

The fairer sex that read my column can help with the next item on my idea list. Treat the lawn and flowers, cut back and cover any that need it. Fertilize for the cold season. There are lots of landscaping chores that will need to be done that most of you know a lot more about than I.

Your list may include sealing around windows — storm windows are a thing of the past on most homes. Even expensive, new windows and doors can leak. If you feel a leak, try to seal it up. Doing this will help with the heating bill. There are various seals available at building supply outlets and most local hardware stores. As you are doing this, remember bugs and varmints will want to get in out of the cold. Make sure small holes are plugged, there are good sealants to accomplish this task.

If you’re winterizing a summer cottage that is left un-heated, provide lots of ant and varmint food to avoid infestation. Use some lock spray on your door locks around the house, shed and extra vehicles. It only takes a few minutes but will save you from problems later. Seems obvious but cover your windows to prevent discoloration of carpet, drapes and furniture. It also discourages anyone from looking in.

If you are storing a trailered boat, as you winterize it be sure to run the motor; inboard, I/O or outboard, with treated fuel. Fill a built-in fuel tank 90 percent full leaving 10 percent for expansion due to temperature fluctuations. While working on your boat, don’t neglect the trailer. Pull the wheels and grease the bearings to avoid rust damage and air tires to proper pressure.

If you plan to use a tarp or vinyl cover, seal it and weight it down whether inside or outside. Chipmunks and mice can enter in an opening the size of your thumb. If varmints get into your vessel, they will chew up wiring and hoses — plus anything else lying around. These precautions also need to be taken if you store at a marina, it is not their responsibility.

As I see it, after writing this column, it’s time for me to get busy and good luck to all of us as we undertake the fall chores.


Return to Home Page of Tipsforboating.com


Copyright © Fred Davis. All rights reserved.