Winterize Your Boat - 8 Tips to Increase Motor Longevity
As the cold fronts move in and the U.S. has its first snowfall, we can truly say winter has come. The majority of boaters will be preparing to winterize their boat during this time, while most of us southerners will keep bowfishing and flounder gigging with our Swamp Eye Light Bar and Swamp Eye Submersible Lights through the "Southern Winter".
The northern U.S. isn't quite as fortunate as we are, they actually experience snow and iced-over lakes which virtually eliminate the use of a boat. The catch though, they get to experience ice fishing. That's one thing we've placed on our bucket list. If our 316 Stainless Steel Flounder Gig can push a 22 ft boat around in the wind and take endless amounts of flounder, I can't imagine the fun we would have spearing some northern pike through the ice.
CUSTOMIZATION, REPAIRS, AND IMPROVEMENTS
If you don't plan on chasing the big November and December flounder, right now is a great time to put your boat in the shop and start making the changes you wish you had while gigging during the flounder run. Common repairs include re-stringing your trailer lights that are out or flickering from a loose ground connection or corroded wiring, replacing the cheap-o busted up LED lights at the front of your boat that only put out a couple thousand lumens, and fixing any leaky joints where water seems to always find its way in.
While you are making your repairs, make sure you are getting ahead of the game so you aren't experiencing these same pitfalls every season. Heat-shrink your trailer connections. Invest in some quality flounder gigging and bowfishing lights. The Swamp Eye Light Bar is two feet in length, 12,000 lumen and color tone adjustable for clear or muddy water conditions. The Swamp Eye Submersible Light is full submersible and 19,000 lumen, also capable of color tone adjustment. Both lights are 120 watt lights and can run on 12 volt DC or 110/120 volt AC with our compact converters.
WINTERIZING YOUR BOAT FOR STORAGE
The following criteria is applicable for most boats, but more particularly outboard motors:
1 - Gauge the remaining fuel in the tank and treat it with the correct amount of fuel stabilizer. This is critical for long term storage of fuel. An alternative option is to just empty the fuel tank if that is a viable option for you.
2 - Flush the engine with fresh water using flush muffs. If you have a "newer" motor (early 2000's), you can use the flushing port located on the back of the engine. The old motors will require the boat motor to be turned on, while the newer motors can be flushed without turning the motor on.
3 - Remove the engine cowl (cover) and start the engine (must be hooked up to water or in a water body). While it is running, spray fogging solution into the air intakes on the front of the engine.
4 - While the engine is still running, remove the fuel line from the engine and continue spraying fogging solution until the engine dies. It is important to run the engine with the fuel line removed to burn all fuel from the carburetors to prevent build-up of deposits from evaporated fuel. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP AND THE MOST COMMON CAUSE OF MOTORS NOT STARTING AFTER BEING STORED LONG TERM.
5 - Apply water resistant grease to propeller shaft and threads.
6 - Change the gear oil in the lower unit.
7 - Lightly lubricant the exterior of the engine or polish with a good wax.
8 - Wash the engine down with soap and water and thoroughly rinse all parts.