- Unless you plan to fish just about every week through the winter, now’s a good time to take some steps to properly winterize your boat and motor for the next couple of months. Fortunately, we don’t have sub-30 degree weather on a prolonged basis very often, but you never know. Here are some pretty simple tips to help keep your rig ready for fishing instead of a trip to the marine mechanic come spring.
- 1. Make sure you keep fuel stabilizer/treatment in your gas tank. You can put the cheap stuff in your $6,000-$12,000 motor or you can use the good stuff. If you need help with that decision, well… Today’s ethanol fuels were made for two reasons – to make more environmentally friendly fuel and to cause you trouble with your outboard motor. In fact, you need to keep that treatment in your engine year around for best results.
2. It’s a good idea to flush out your engine using an engine muff or similar device attached to the raw water pickup. Let all the water drain from the engine and leave it tilted down to ensure that. It doesn’t hurt to disconnect the fuel hose and run the engine until it stops, especially if it is going to sit awhile.
- 3. If your boat and motor are stored outside, you can protect it by using a good cleaner/polish to coat the rig. If you cover the rig, make sure your straps allow for water to run off and not seep through into your boat. Water sitting in a boat through the winter will make you unhappy, unhappy, unhappy. If you store your boat in a boat house or on a lift, it’s a good idea to remove the plug to allow wind-driven rain to exit through the drain hole.
- 4. Fill your fuel tanks to capacity. That helps avoid a build up of condensation over the winter months. It’s also a good time to change the oil and filters, although most fishermen will wait until spring to do this.
- 5. Make sure you run the bilge pumps and aerator motors without water for just a few minutes to drain them well.
- 6. Make sure your batteries are all fully charged.
- 7. Finally, its a lot easier to remove any valuables, electronics, lines, PFD, fire extinguishers, etc., now than later. You can keep these items clean and they keep a lot better in a climate controlled area. And they are safer there, too.
- If you have any other tried and true tips, please hit the comment button and share them with our readers. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.