As the weather starts to turn and the boating season finishes, many boat-owners will start to talk about winterisation. What is this, and why is it important? This article will briefly explain the reasons why this end-of-season process must be carried out, and the specific steps our manufacturer-trained engineers follow to ensure that your engines are prepared for winter.

Winterisation – The Basics

If you’re not using your boat over winter, you will need to protect your investment against the elements. Engines are designed to be used, and need to be carefully prepared for long periods of time sitting idle in cold temperatures. It’s also worth remembering that many insurance policies will not cover damage done by lack of maintenance.

The best time to prepare your engines is at the end of the boating season, before the temperature starts to drop, and while the boat is still in the water. This will give you and your engineer plenty of time to follow the basic steps and also check for and repair any damages that have been caused over the spring/summer.

Woolverstone Marina in Winter
Woolverstone Marina in Winter

Volspec Ltd’s Annual Winterisation Checklist

Here at Volspec, we have over 45 years of experience as Volvo Penta experts. With winter number 46 on its way, we’ve pooled our expertise together to create a basic winterisation package for our customers. Each of these steps protects all the vital engine components from deadly moisture over the winter months.

  1. Run engine up to temperature
  2. Flush raw water system with inhibiting solution
  3. Drain down domestic water systems
  4. Check coolant levels (replace every 24 or 48 months depending on coolant type). **
  5. Lubricate upper cylinders and valves
  6. Pump out bilges and leave dry
  7. Remove batteries for storage
  8. Spray engine with moisture repellent
  9. Seal Exhaust and air intake from atmosphere
** Extra to service price

How much will winterisation cost?

how much will winterisation cost

Protecting your investment doesn’t need to break the bank. Any funds spent looking after your engine in the winter months will definitely affect its performance come next year’s boating season.

Our prices vary depending on different factors such as; size of engine, ease of access and boat location/travel costs. If any repair work is also booked in at the time of winterisation, this will also change our estimates. For a general idea of what to expect however, below is a description of our pricing matrix including VAT but excluding travel costs.

Engine Types

Winterise only per
engine (£) (inc. VAT)

Hours to complete
per engine

Small Diesel Engines
2000 Series (2001, 2002, 2003) Prices from £135.00 Estimated at 2 hours
Compact Series (D1-D2)
MD2010, MD2020, MD2030, MD2040
Medium Diesel Engines
D3 (Early & Late Types) Prices from £175.00 Estimated at 3 hours
KAD32 (Early & Late Types)
KAD43 (Early & Late Types)
KAD44 (Early & Late Types)
41 Engines A, B, D, H, L, M & P Versions Prices from £170.00
KAD300 Prices from £175.00
Large Diesel Engines
D4-180 – D4-225 Inboard Prices from £245.00 Estimated at 3 hours
D4-260 – D4-300 Inboard
D4-210 – D4-300 Aquamatic
D6 Inboard Prices from £320.00 Estimated at 4 hours
D6 Aquamatic
D6 IPS (Engine Only)
D5 (Commercial Only), D9 Prices from £335.00 Estimated at 4.5 hours
D11 Prices from £375.00
Petrol Engines
5.0 Ltr Prices from £140.00 Estimated at 3 hours
5.7 Ltr
AQ151C Prices from £170.00 Estimated at 3 hours

Other useful tips

Our engineers are trained to take expert care of your Volvo Penta engines. There are some other useful tips that you can consider doing yourself to protect your whole boat from the damaging effects of winter.

Think about where you’re going to store your boat; in or out of the water?

In the water

water retains heat longer than air. If you choose to keep your boat in water you reduce the chance of ‘sudden freeze’. You will however, increase your risk of sustaining storm damage, hull blisters, theft or sinking.

Out of the water

If you are keeping your boat ashore, you should consider winterising earlier as the lower temperatures will impact it earlier than in water. Investing in a good quality boat cover is the most economic form of protection. Covers should keep water out but allow air to circulate to prevent condensation build-up leading to rot, mould and corrosion.

Protect everything from moisture damage

Fighting against mould and rot in a marine environment is always hard. To win this battle, through-ventilation is your best weapon. Store all fabrics such as linen, clothing, blankets, curtains etc away from the boat. Leave cupboard doors, drawers and - most importantly – fridge doors open.

Come and talk to us about your winterisation needs and winter projects and plans at our next #FikaFriday