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Boat wasn't winterized?

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  • Boat wasn't winterized?

    First off, I would like to apologize if this is in the wrong section. I, or I should say my brother, has a problem with his boat, and I need some advice on what to do!

    My brother is currently stationed in Iraq, and apparently he forgot to ask someone to winterize his boat for him. I got an email from him the other day about it. We live in Nebraska, where it's hitting 10 degrees and below. His boat is stored in his garage, which isn't heated. It hadn't been on the water since early June. I was wondering if it would do anything if I were to go over and take it in to a marine shop, or if I should try to figure out how to drain the engine or something like that. It is a 115 HP Mercury outboard.

    I have absolutely zero knowledge regarding boats, so sorry if this is a stupid question.


  • #2
    Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

    At this point it's really not a big deal. Especially since it's in a garage and it's already been 6 months later. If I were you I would not mess with it. Actually more of a chance something could get screwed up. That's my opinion and I'm not saying preventive maintenance is not ever needed it's just that since it's somebody else's property I think it's best to leave it alone.
    Ignition troubleshooting

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    • #3
      Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

      An out board will self drain so not to worry there. It is safe in the garage.
      Mercury inlines....nothing else stacks up
      The answer to "do i need to change my water pump impeller" is YES

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      • #4
        Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

        It is possible that your brother didn't turn the engine vertically when he last left it. If the motor is presently in a tilted position... water might be trapped inside. There just might be water left in it. That water can freeze in a Nebraska winter. Be sure the motor is pointed straight down now. If any water drains out...you have saved the day. Rich

        p.s. If you decide to adjust the tilt on the motor, be certain that he doesn't have a "stop" set to keep it in a tilted position for traveling. If he does, have someone who knows outboards show you how to remove the tilt-stop setting. Otherwise, you could do damage to the entire tilt hydraulics or even the transom. If no one is available, ask back here. someone with a similar engine will help RG

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        • #5
          Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

          Originally posted by richg99 View Post
          It is possible that your brother didn't turn the engine vertically when he last left it. If the motor is presently in a tilted position... water might be trapped inside. There just might be water left in it. That water can freeze in a Nebraska winter. Be sure the motor is pointed straight down now. If any water drains out...you have saved the day. Rich

          p.s. If you decide to adjust the tilt on the motor, be certain that he doesn't have a "stop" set to keep it in a tilted position for traveling. If he does, have someone who knows outboards show you how to remove the tilt-stop setting. Otherwise, you could do damage to the entire tilt hydraulics or even the transom. If no one is available, ask back here. someone with a similar engine will help RG

          I agree, usually if it is in the garage the motor will be down since the garage door wont shut if the engine is up. Voice of experience from the frozen north in Canada/
          Mercury inlines....nothing else stacks up
          The answer to "do i need to change my water pump impeller" is YES

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          • #6
            Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

            Have an inline 6 Merc 115, came with old boat I purchased. Ran it off ears in October, changed the LU oil, lowered it, and into the garage "on a cold Ohio night".................no fogging, nada!

            Hope that was enough!

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            • #7
              Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

              Original poster.
              As mentioned, motor needs to be in a vertical position to drain the cooling system. That's all for that.

              Next item is the gear box. If it's below freezing, and the propeller will turn in neutral, it's fine. Go ahead and give it a good kick. A few drops of water between the prop and the case will jam it, but not be significant. If it won't turn, it'd be a good idea to take the drain plug out, and put a can under it so the next time it warms up the grease and water can drain out. It's too late if it actually broke the casting, but if it didn't this trick will save your bacon.

              Next item is preservation against condensation. I'd pull the plugs and spray a good dose of fogging oil in each cylinder, then reinstall the plugs. If you can turn over the engine, open the throttle and spray a generous dose of fogging oil in each carb throat while cranking. Some people spray the outside of the engine (under the covers) with WD40 to ward off rusting. Just lightly spray the electrical stuff and flywheel. It's messy, but effective.

              Battery should be out of the boat, in a warm place, and on a maintainer. You can get away with just a maintainer, or charging it up monthly. If it's out of the boat, you escape the scenario of an accidental load, like a mouse bite turns on the bilge pump, discharging the battery and allowing it to freeze.

              hope it helps
              John

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              • #8
                Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

                Where at in Nebraska? I live in the panhandle and it really hasn't gotten that cold yet here. If it has been in the garage it should be OK now. Like the others have said. Make sure the motor is down. I leave the batteries in my boat all winter and have never had any problems.
                sigpic "Spend a little money, save a lot of time"

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                • #9
                  Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

                  Originally posted by boat1010 View Post
                  Where at in Nebraska? I live in the panhandle and it really hasn't gotten that cold yet here. If it has been in the garage it should be OK now. Like the others have said. Make sure the motor is down. I leave the batteries in my boat all winter and have never had any problems.
                  I leave mine in too, but they all have on board chargers keeping them topped off, and I check them about once a week.

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                  • #10
                    Sign up today
                    Re: Boat wasn't winterized?

                    Yep, on the batteries I plug in the onboard charger (best money you can spend) and all is well come spring. I've never fogged but I'm only down about 3 months a year and garage kept. I do drain the foot lube and refill every year, and new impeller every second or third season. Never had a problem yet.
                    A good brand of engine is one that runs

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