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winter time

5937 Views 26 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  fisherjon
I hear alot about winterizing last year we went to the lake at least once a month but this year so far anyway that has not been the case can anybody give me some direction on outboard maintenance for the winter
any help appreciated thanks
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I put Stabil fuel stabilizer and a bit of Seafoam fuel cleaner in my tanks and run them on my last trip then redose and refill so tanks are stored full to prevent water from condensation. I service my lower unit to make sure there's no water in the oil, cover the prop and hub with a trash bag to keep critters out. Grease all the fitting for steering, wheels etc. Remove the batteries and store them in the house or shed with a "trickle" charger. Remove and store the depth finder in the house. Wrap her up with a cover and tell her nitey night.... LOL!!
The next season I then run thse tanks low on my first ride ( which I always make "just a ride" not a planned fishing trip in case I have poblems ) Then when I get home I screw in a new set of plugs so the fuel system is clean and the plugs are fresh. I recheck the lower unit for moisture and I'm good to go!!
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thanks drop i've got on board chargers i keep plugged up all the time think that will suffice for winter / hoping praying for some rain and then maybe a warm day here and there
thanks again
looks like im geeting my wish for christmas another warm week for fishing yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa......................chris
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Winterize? Never done it. No help here. My boats don't sit idle longer enough to justify winterizing.:D
amen on the bread man...........chris
Winterize? Never done it. No help here. My boats don't sit idle longer enough to justify winterizing.:D

you and me both...

you and me both...

You must be running a Mercury.:eek: Tough huh?:D
as Long As The Weather Stays Above 55 During The Day And The Sun Shines, Tc Is Goind To Fish, As Log As The Wind Dont Blow Me Away.............chris
Some links for you for reference: :)

Howstuffworks "How to Winterize an Outboard Motor"

Winterizing Outboard Motor on the Trailer

Winterizing Tips/Technical Information/Sales&Service/Tohatsu Outboard Motors

Boat Winterizing by David Estensen

Couple things I'll add are, if you can, put a cover on the motor or at least the cowling (keeps rodents/birds/etc.. from nesting up in the cowling.

Definately drain the lower unit oil, cause if any water is in the lower unit oil and it freezes,, can crack the LU housing.. dont wait till spring to change.

If you have a water system (fresh water washdown), put some RV pink anti freeze in the system then run the system until pink water comes out.. that way you wont bust a pump and it will keep the water (residual) from freezing. Same thing for macerator system pour in some pink RV anti freeze so water wont freeze up and bust the pump(s)

Top off fluids to prevent any condesation. Hydraulic steering, compass oil (if needed), fuel, oil tank(s).

DEFINATELY ADD STABIL or some fuel treatment!!!!! very important!!!
Will prevent fuel from going stale and will prevent varnashing and gumming of fuel system. Once you "un-winterize" then change out all your filters (fuel/oil)

Get out as much residual moisture/water as possible then if you have a cover, cover up the boat and let'r sit till spring.

Things over looked:

Trailer maintenance, should you have any water (residual) in the hubs or bearings.. could force the protective caps out if the water freezes... best to lube up the hubs prior to letting the trailer rest.
Maintain tire pressures just as you would if you were using the boat
if possible, jack up the trailer to releive the pressure off the tires (so you wont get flat spots on the tire itself) and remove the tires (good theft preventative measure as well.

If you can, cover the tires to prevent uv damage while trailer is at rest.
Good time to go over wiring and any repairs/bulb replacements you might need to do. Sometimes water will get into connections and bulb sockets... so I like to at least pull the bulbs and coat the contacts and bulb contact ends with die-electric grease and re-install. Prevents water build up and prevents corrosion!

lastly, remove ALL gear from the boat - life jackets, safety kits, equipment... nothing worse than gear sittin in wet/damp closed deck locker, leave all hatches partially open to allow for air to circulate

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Dave - that's some great advice there - thanks.

But it sounds like a lot of work :) so I think I'll just use mine all winter long :D
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Dave --- That is great info. --Thanks

I leave my boat in the water all the time and presently have it out for annual clean up and repair ( barnicle knocking) and bottom painting. My ss prop looked like drop's snaggle tooth avatar. Prop shop in Beaufort will repair and rehub. I removed lower unit and dropped off at Merritt Marine in Hillsborough to install new seals--(only folks I allow to work on my boat motor). Plus while I was there Debbie Merritt cooked up some of the best homemade sausage biscuits that I have eaten since I was a kid on the farm. Fine folks to deal with.
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I've decided this year to winterize by buying a nice pair of Carhartt bib overalls or coveralls and some warm gloves!! I never fished in colder weather until this year and so far, so good! Worst part for me is with my old boat trailer I have to get wet to load the boat.
my thoughts exactly only problem for me is the low water any ideas on good ramps local to hillsborough i told momma we could put the pontoon in with a kerosene heater real ******* fishing i'd say :)
excuse 1 finger typing holding one of my grand babies with other hand
I'd haul on up to Kerr Lake. Best bet to find water up that way and not too terribly far.
But it sounds like a lot of work :) so I think I'll just use mine all winter long :D
Not really alot of work at all... to be honest,, shouldn't take any longer than maybe an hour for a savy tool guy... (remember,,, if you're a boat owner,, you should be familiar with every operating system!) ;)

A: get's you out of the house and away from the honey do list
hard to work on a honey do list when ya out workin on the boat! ;) (HINT!!)

B: Time is money... just pay a dealer to winterize if time is a problem... but you gonna pay...

C: By doing simple maintenance such as winterizing, you as a Capt will know exactly the condition of your fluids (oil, fuel, lube)... then there should be no fear/reason for a failure (unless mechanical) once you head out the inlet. You'll know when every filter, plug, gear lube change was done, you'll know if you put air in the tires (if boat is trailer'd), road worthy condition of trailer, bunk/lights/winch and strap... ya know... all that stuff.

D: Pride in ownership.... just simply want to maintain your vessel yourself, save a buck and keep her tip-top! ;)

E: All or a combination of all of the above

Side bar.... compared to a kyak... yeah,,, it's a "little" more work.. but not much ;):)
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Side bar.... compared to a kyak... yeah,,, it's a "little" more work.. but not much ;):)
I'd been biting my tongue....
(remember,,, if you're a boat owner,, you should be familiar with every operating system!) ;)
Dave --- This one sentence about covers it all. I'm not much on the teak, mahogony, and polishing, but mechanically-- I keep it tip top and know what does which.-- Too much water down here. As for trailering a boat any distance-- I would definitely rather float tube with the gators. :)
Not really alot of work at all... to be honest,, shouldn't take any longer than maybe an hour for a savy tool guy... (remember,,, if you're a boat owner,, you should be familiar with every operating system!) ;)
Dave - I guess you couldn't see the sarcasm dripping from my keyboard as I wrote that, sorry about that. You of all people know I boat all year round - 12 months out of 12 - no need to winterize here.

BTW - I do all my own routine maintenance - oil changes, lower unit lube change, lubricate all fittings, fuel filter, tune up, etc - so no stranger to working on the boat.
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More helpful maintenance tips from Chatlee Marine.

• The idea that factory parts are better is valid, especially on electrical components, starters and lubricants. A little more now in many cases will save you a lot later. Do not use automotive parts for marine application!

• Check behind your prop occasionally for fishing line or any other foreign objects. They can get wound around the propshaft and cut the lower unit seal. This can allow water to get in and cause internal drive unit problems.

• In colder weather, store your boat with the lower unit trimmed down. If you don't, water can get into the bottom of your drive unit casing through the prop opening. If this happens and the water freezes, it can bust open your lower unit.

• Disconnect your battery when storing your boat for long periods of time. If there is any draw on the battery while its sitting, it can be drained too low to recover when you resume use.

• Always remove your drain plug when parking your boat. Rainwater can easily fill your bilge enough to affect mechanical parts like starters, trim lines, etc. Even if you have a bilge pump, they only work as long as the battery is charged, which can be a very short period of time.

• Boat covers should be secured tightly and checked often if possible in the winter. Any time you expose cloth to weather, regardless of its intended design, it may be subject to damage.

• Every 75 hours, replace spark plugs, clean fuel filter, change lower unit oil, grease engine/drive via the zerc fittings and inspect everything.

• Every 150 hours, or once a year, replace the impeller and fuel-water separator.

• Flush the engine each time your boat is used in salt water. Use “earmuffs” over the water intake and a freshwater hose. Tilt engine and rinse underneath to prevent salt buildup.

• Fill gas tank on the way back. A full tank resists water build-up from condensation.

• Wash the entire boat and trailer using soap and water. Zip Wax (by Turtle Wax) car wash soap contains wax and will not strip the wax from your boat. Do not use bleach or SoftScrub except in emergencies. Re-wax the affected area after using these harsh products.

• Scrub decks with a non-skid cleaner (Starbrite Deck Cleaner or the West Marine equivalent work well.)

• Dry all the metal, glass and flat surfaces. Standing water will leave mineral deposits and etch surfaces.

• Cover your boat to protect it from sun and rain.

• Winterizing is necessary for stern drive/inboard motors. Contradictory to some beliefs, North Carolina's climate will damage your motor. Simply draining the block and manifolds is not enough because water is still trapped in some areas of the block. If this trapped water is not mixed with an anti-freeze solution, it can freeze and bust numerous engine components such as intake and exhaust manifolds, blocks, heat exchangers, drain fittings (if you’re lucky), etc. Inboard motors such as Mercruiser and Volvo Sterndrives should be winterized at the end of each boating season. Without doing this, your taking a chance of your motor freezing

• When parking your Outboard motor for lengthy periods of time, you should mix some fuel stabilizer in with your fuel, then run the motor for 5-10 minutes in order to mix the fuel and stabilizer in the carburetor. This prevents gelling of the fuel within the carburetor jets. This practice could save you from having to rebuild your carburetors.

• Winterizing is always a good idea if your not going to use your boat in the winter. If your outboard is going to sit for months at a time, running the fuel out of the carburetors is not enough to sufficiently protect it.
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