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When it comes time to put away your summer toys, winterizing your boat is essential to having a smooth start up next spring. This guide offers expert boat winterizing tips from the professionals at ARCO Marine. Just follow these step by step instructions on how to best winterize your boat.
To begin, top off your tank with fuel, preferably a non-ethanol fuel. Next, add fuel stabilizer. Now run the engine for 10-15 minutes in freshwater, either by using the motor water flusher earmuff cups or a freshwater test tank. This will circulate the fuel stabilizer throughout the fuel system and help prevent any fuel related issues or freeze-ups.
On a 4-stroke engine, simply pull the spark plugs, spray the fogging oil in each cylinder, and replace the plugs.
For a 2-stroke engine, you can fog the engine right through the carburetor, while the engine is running. You can even do it during the 10-15 minutes of running your engine to circulate the fuel stabilizer.
Drain the old oil from the lower unit, paying close attention to the oil's color and consistency. If the oil is milky or white in appearance, there is water in your lower unit. Had this oil gone unchanged, it would have frozen over the winter. During this process, you also want to look for metal shavings. Metal shavings tell that the bearings or gears are wearing too much. If you discover this condition, contact an authorized dealer.
Drain the old oil and remove the oil filter. (This is also a great time to replace the fuel filter and the water/fuel separator.). Put new oil and a new filter in the engine.
For sterndrives or outboard motors, make sure that the engine is positioned in an "all the way" downward position. That means past the trim bump and as far as it will go on the trim. These engines are designed to drain water in that position, which will keep any new water from settling in and freezing up during the winter.
Last but not least, remove the batteries from the engine. The batteries should be stored in a warm, dry place, and it should be fully charged before it is stored for the winter. Ideally, the batteries should be left on a "trickle-charge". A trickle charge is a low amp charger that will keep the batteries at their ideal charge.
That's it. Winterizing your boat is a small investment of time that will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The professionals at Arco Marine are committed to giving boating enthusiasts the advice and parts they need to keep them running. We hope this guide was helpful.