The Boatist

Sailboat Ownership, Translation Work and Tales of Minor Adventure

Retire early, be passionate, don't worry, die poor

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Drink and Piss Method

How long does it take to change a boat engine's antifreeze? About 6 weeks. That's how it goes on a naked boat.

I discovered that you shouldn't mix different types of antifreeze. After that, I discovered that pink antifreeze may be bad for seals in older diesel engines. Lastly, I can't open the little tap that drains the coolant from the engine block.

I couldn't open the little tap with my bare hand, even after soaking it with DW-40, and I'm not about to use a wrench. It's hidden behind the oil filter in a hard-to-reach place, and snapping it would imply a major headache. In this stage of the game I need less pain and more pleasure.

After finally finding blue antifreeze at an auto parts store, I got to work using the drink and piss method, which is not painful at all.

Kubota antifreeze
Pee into the pan please.
The whole Kubota engine takes 7.5 l of coolant. Because I can drain only about 3 liters from the coolant tank, I decided on the following procedure:

  • drain the coolant tank
  • refill it with distilled water
  • run the engine until the tank is hot
  • shut the engine down and let it cool
  • drain the coolant tank again
  • repeat the process 8 times
  • in the last operation, uncouple the long hose connecting the heat exchange to the engine to remove another 1/2 liter
  • pour 3.5 l of pure blue antifreeze into the tank, run the engine to mix it up.
One more drink and piss operation and I can finally add the antifreeze and move on to the task of scraping the propeller and checking the bottom growth. If it's really bad I may haul out this year.

In the middle of all this drinking and pissing I took a trip to Gibraltar, to be covered in my next post.


  1. I gotta hand it to you Horacio, you've got a way with words!
    Good trick avoiding pain, even though 8 times doesn't sound too pleasurable... I guess it's all relative. I assume you don't do this often.
    Thanks for the heads up on the pink (expensive) stuff. I just use the cheap pre mixed blue stuff due to the fact that it gets mostly drained every year due to..... oh crap, I don't want to get into that now!

    1. Thanks Pete, but I need more action in my blog and less words.
      Actually, 5 liters of the German-made pure blue antifreeze cost me € austerity in that price. It's raining again. Should have stayed in Gibraltar. Already checked out the marina prices and anchoring there. It's a plan.