Post-Season Boat Maintenance
Like so many of us, you hate to see the boating season end. You have made wonderful memories with your family and friends over the course of the boating season on your Veranda and are reaping the benefits of the patented interlocking deck system and the “lifetime of enjoyment” it provides. Whether it’s the end of your boating season or you need to put your Veranda into storage for several months, there will come a time when you need to correctly prepare your Veranda for storage.
Hi there again, I’m Tommy Sanders, the host of the Veranda Luxury Pontoons online owner’s manual, and today we define six helpful steps for proper post-season boat maintenance, as approved by Veranda Luxury Pontoons and Yamaha. We recommend consulting your local authorized Veranda Luxury Pontoons dealer who has certified Yamaha technicians on staff to provide post-season boat maintenance service.
If you are inclined, this video covers how to change your oil, fog the engine, grease fittings, how to change or add fuel stabilizer, wash and dry your Veranda. If followed, these maintenance steps will help ensure you a lifetime of enjoyment from your investment. Self-service maintenance will not affect the Yamaha warranty, provided it’s done properly and uses the proper supplies. Yamaha recommends that all Yamaha outboard owners (especially DIYers) download and use the MyYamahaOutboards app to record and track their maintenance. Learn more at www.yamahaoutboards.com/myyamahaoutboards. Another helpful tip is to always keep a record of your receipts for the products purchased to perform DIY maintenance if you choose to do so. Once again, we highly recommend consulting your local authorized Veranda Luxury Pontoons dealer who has certified Yamaha technicians on staff to provide post-season boat maintenance service.
CHANGE OIL & FILTER
Step one. Change oil and filter. The process starts with changing the crankcase oil:
- First, place an oil pan under the lower unit and with the engine trimmed all the way up.
- Next, remove the drain plug located inside the rubber tube below the rear of the cowling.
- After the oil has finished draining, replace the drain plug.
Place a piece of plastic tubing as an extension over the rubber tube to direct the oil into the pan and lower the engine using the trim switch on the starboard side to start the oil flowing. Next, change the oil filter. With the engine still down, slide the oil pan directly underneath the lower unit and remove the gearcase drain plug on the starboard side to remove the old lubricant. Check the old oil for discoloration or a foamy residue, which is an indication that water could be getting into the lower unit through a damaged seal. The most common cause of this problem is picking up discarded fishing line behind the propeller. While that gearcase is draining, remove the engine oil filter found on the port side. You can use an oil filter wrench or on these smaller engines, a simple strap wrench works fine. Be careful not to disturb the oil sensor located on the block above the filter. Moisten the rubber gasket on the new filter with a little fresh engine oil to assure a proper seal and then install by hand tightening the filter until it is snug. Refill the crankcase with the proper amount of Yamaha engine oil. To refill the lower unit with fresh gear case oil, first, remove the vent screw located directly above the drain plug. Dealers winterize so many outboards they use a bulk can of Yamalube® Gearcase Oil with a pump, but that probably won’t be necessary for you at home. Threads the fill hose into the drain plug hole and carefully pump in the lubricant until it starts weeping out of the upper vent. For DIYers, Yamaha offers two options:
- An inexpensive hand pump that fits quart bottles of the Yamalube Gearcase Oil, which can be purchased from a local auto parts store.
- A plastic tube with threads that match the drain hole so you can simply squeeze the lubricant into the gear case.
Reinstall the vent plug until tight, then remove the applicator from the bottom and reinstall the drain plug. Warning: Do not attempt to fill from the top. For additional instruction please refer to the Engine Oil & Lube page on Yamaha Outboard’s Maintenance Matters.
FOG THE ENGINE
The second step in post-season boat maintenance is to fog the engine. Use a portable fuel tank with a small amount of fresh gas treated with Yamalube Ring Free, PLUS EFI Engine Storage Fogging Oil, and Yamalube Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner Plus. Start by placing a hose flusher over the main lower unit water pickups and turn on the water. Then disconnect the fuel hose at the fuel filter by loosening the spring clamp with needle nose pliers and connecting the hose to the portable tank. Pump the ball to prime the engine and then start, allowing it to run for 10 minutes at a fast idle as the mixture is thoroughly distributed throughout the fuel system and combustion chambers to lubricate the injectors, valves, cylinder walls, and piston rings. When the 10 minutes are up, rev the engine briefly until you see a puff of smoke caused by the fogging oil exit through the prop hub and shut it down. Remove the hose from the portable tank and refit the onboard fuel hose. Leave the engine down to drain the water from the cooling system and disconnect the onboard flushing hose so that it drains, too. Then reconnect. For additional instruction please refer to the Extended Storage page on Yamaha Outboard’s Maintenance Matters.
The third step is to grease the fittings. Tilt the engine up and use a grease gun charged with Yamaha marine grease to lubricate all grease fittings. There is one on each side of the steering slide near the front of the engine, one on the steering column, and one on the shift mechanism where the shift cables enter the cowling. To finish the job, spray the entire engine with Yamashield to repel moisture and prevent corrosion, and replace the cowling.
CHANGE FUEL FILTER
The fourth step in post-season boat maintenance involves changing the fuel filter. Replace your fuel filter by unscrewing and putting in the new filter. Dispose of the old filter and fuel properly.
ADD FUEL STABILIZER
The fifth step is to add fuel stabilizer. Add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank to keep the fuel fresh throughout the winter. Stabilized fuel will help make sure that your engine starts quick and easy next spring. It also helps prevent corrosion, rust, or other engine damage while in storage.
WASH & DRY
The final step in post-season boat maintenance is washing and drying your Veranda. We do suggest cleaning your boat before storing it for longer periods of time. We suggest using dishwashing soap, such as Dawn, and water for washing the boat. Customers can also use a pressure washer for the floors. You just need to make sure you are not using a high-pressure system and that you are careful.
There are countless automotive and marine cleaning solutions on the market that you can use for the logs and panels. We do not have a specific aluminum cleaner that we suggest. This is really up to the consumer on what they want to use. This is not something that affects the warranty. Whichever cleaner you use, the general directions are to apply the cleaner, scrub it into the aluminum, let it sit for several minutes, rinse it off and repeat if necessary. If you are unsure about how long to leave the cleaner on the aluminum, you can test it on a less-visible part of your pontoon. Be sure to read the instructions on the cleaning product to ensure proper usage.
Panels, vinyl seating, and flooring should be cleaned frequently with mild dish soap, warm water, and a soft cloth, paying special attention to crevices on the seats. For heavily soiled areas, we recommend using a 1:1 solution of Formula 409 or Fantastik and water. Rub gently and rinse with a water-dampened cloth or a thorough rinse with clean warm water. For more difficult stains, dampen a soft white cloth with a solution of household bleach (up to and no more than 10% bleach with 90% water). Rub gently and rinse with a water-dampened cloth to remove bleach concentration. Do not use alcohol-based cleaning agents.
It is always recommended to consult with your local authorized dealer. If you wish to provide further protection, you can apply metal polish to the aluminum surfaces and wax the panels. This takes time, but if done correctly, will only need to be done once in a while. Many boat owners swear by Sharkhide or Biokleen metal polishes. In addition to a metal polish, you will need either a polishing ball on a standard cordless drill or an electric buffer with a lamb’s wool pad and a clean terry cloth.
Application of the metal polish should be done based on the directions on the container. Generally speaking, this will involve placing metal polish on a ball or pad, running the cordless drill or buffer clockwise at a slow speed to start, then increasing speed once the polish is absorbed. Guide it down the length of the pontoon while moving the applicator in a small ‘S’ pattern to blend the polish into the surface of the aluminum. After the polish is applied, buff it out or wipe it with a clean, dry cloth. You can also apply the polish by hand if you don’t have a buffer. Waxing panels can help prevent water spots, but it is not something that we recommend. It is really up to you, the consumer. We do not recommend waxing the powder-coated rails on your fence. It is not like a painted surface and will leave residue in the small textures of the powder coat.
If your Veranda Luxury Pontoon is equipped with hydraulic assist steering, UFLEX USA states that when storing your boat for an extended period of time beyond 4 months, we recommend having your dealer remove the steering cable end fitting from its engine side support and cleaning it adequately. Cover your boat. Make sure your boat is dry and cover it with a quality boat cover to keep your boat clean and electronics safe from the elements.
If possible, store out of water. This will keep your Veranda Luxury Pontoon safe from possible ice, or other problems that you did not account for over the winter months. We recommend that you have a boat lift at the very least, or even better, store your boat out of the water during the winter months. For additional instruction please refer to the External Appearance page on Yamaha Outboard’s Maintenance Matters.
We hope you have found this Veranda Luxury Pontoons owner’s manual segment on post-season boat maintenance very helpful to protect your investment and ensure a lifetime of enjoyment.