Winter Boat Maintenance
With end-of-season weatherization, you can make sure your boat is ready to go for the spring season next year.
Check the lower unit to see that no water is in the unit. Drain it. Put fresh lower unit gear oil (refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations). Run the engine on a garden hose. Run all the fuel out of the carburetor to empty and dry the engine. Do this whether you have a two-cycle or four-cycle stroke, outboard engine.
Any gas left inside creates a varnish that can be a problem when trying to start the engine. Fuel—gas with ethanol—can’t be left sitting in the engine.
Remember to store your life jackets in a dry location over winter. Oftentimes, life jackets are left in boats over the winter and it isn’t until a fisher is launching the boat the following spring that it is discovered that the life jackets are covered in mold or mildew. When this happens, it is all too easy to say, “I’ll go without this one time, because I don’t want to drive into town to buy another one.” Life is too precious to make this kind of mistake. By making sure you’re ready for anything, you can increase your safety and the safety of your boat crew.