How to Un-Winterize Your Boat

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Much of the process of getting the boat ready for the boating season, or how you un-winterize the boat, revolves around the preparation of the motor. Beyond the motor, the only thing every boater must do before embarking on the water is put the drain plug in the drain hole in the bottom of the boat. Forgetting to do so, in giddy anticipation of the coming season, will make your season's first voyage a short one.

Things You'll Need

  • Boat plug
  • Replacement wire
  • Fuel filters
  • Oil filters
  • Solvent
  • Garden hose
  • Flushing attachment
  • Re-install the battery, if the battery was removed. Inspect all of the wiring and all of the electrical connections to ensure rodents haven't spent the winter snacking on the insulation. If there's any evidence rodents have done damage to the boat's wiring, don't start the motor until the damaged wiring is replaced.

  • Reconnect the supply line for the remote oil tank on two-cycle motors that are so equipped. Make sure the system is primed and ready to pump once the motor starts. Replace the fuel filters and oil filters if that was not done in the fall.

  • Inspect the portable fuel tanks and clean them with solvent before filling them with fresh fuel. If your tank was not cleaned at the end of the season, the thin film of fuel remaining in the tank all winter will introduce varnish into this season's first load of fuel.

  • Squeeze the primer bulb several times after you have connected the fuel tank, to pressurize the fuel system. Check the fuel lines and connections for leaks.

  • Connect a garden hose to the motor through the flushing port or through a flushing attachment and start the motor before you go boating. Let the motor idle until it warms up and check the cooling, electrical and warning systems for proper operation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Disconnect the negative battery cable before performing maintenance work on your outboard motor, to prevent electrical shock or accidental starting. Lift the cable from your battery, move it outside of the battery box and close the lid of the box.
  • If you work on your outboard motor when your boat is on its trailer, or your motor is on a storage stand, remove the propeller nut with a wrench and slide the thrust hub, propeller and washers from the propeller shaft to prevent possible serious injury from the propeller.
  • Never operate your outboard out of the water unless you provide a source of cooling water, whether by connecting a garden hose to the motor's flushing port, connecting a flushing attachment to a garden hose and placing the it over the cooling water inlets, or immersing the motor in a motor test tub filled with water so that the cooling water inlets are submerged.

References

  • "Evinrude Repair Manual -- 2.5 to 250 HP Models, 2002-2007"; Seloc Marine; 2007
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