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pos1

Fishing in boat during freeze up

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pos1

Every year I ask myself why I anxiously wait for first ice so I can start ice fishing, when instead I could have just kept fishing out of my boat (w/ ouitboard).  Seems like that early crappies should  bite just as well on open water as first ice.

i don't have a heated garage, but have never drained a boat to winterize it in the past.  And I've owned outboards for 25 years.

is there anything I need to worry about if I fish during the day, put the boat in the ingested garage and it freezes overnight?  Seems that there has to be some water left in the engine as part of the cooling system...or does the completely drain on the drive home?

this would most likely be in the late October to mid-November timeframe.

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Barbelboy

I usually fish well into November. At the landing I lower the motor all the way and let as much water drain out as possible. Trailer it home, then lower it again and let the last bit drain out of the lower unit. That should get the vast majority of it out. I then use a pair of the ear muffs to run a little antifreeze in there. Probably over kill, but I have never had a problem. Before I hit the lake again I use the muffs to run some water back in and flush the lower unit so no antifreeze gets into the lake.

Don't forget your live well. Some water will sit in there as well as the drain pipe. I always hit that up with a little antifreeze as well.

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Cheers

a mechanic told me that outboards are self draining so all is needed is o tip the unit down and let it drain

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Jim Almquist

The only thing that I would add is to be sure if it is pretty cold out while you are fishing, is to warm the motor up before you put it on the trailer so nothing has ice build up, so all of the water drains out properly.

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gimruis

Good advice here.  Remember, water expands when it freezes so if there's water in the lower unit, livewell, etc and you get a good freeze there could be some damage.  Best to make sure everything is fully dried to avoid any potential damage.

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delcecchi

Guys fish the Mississippi, like at Redwing, all winter long.   I have never heard of anyone having issues with outboard or boat from the freezing.   

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gimruis
On ‎10‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 8:38 AM, delcecchi said:

Guys fish the Mississippi, like at Redwing, all winter long.   I have never heard of anyone having issues with outboard or boat from the freezing.   

Yes, but they don't park their boats outside all winter too.  That would ruin so many things really quick.

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h8go4s
12 hours ago, gimruis said:

Yes, but they don't park their boats outside all winter too.  That would ruin so many things really quick.

What???? Lots of boats are parked outside all winter. Mine is inside, but in an unheated storage building. Never a problem. As long as the lower unit doesn't leak and everything is drained, all is well.

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delcecchi

You don't want your boat to fill with snow and ice, for sure.  So it needs to be covered in some manner.   A regular canvas cover works if you are around to go sweep the snow off when necessary. 

Boats and outboards do perfectly well even in sub-zero weather.   

As for using them in the winter, take a ride to Redwing on a nice day in late winter and check it out there below the dam.  

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SkunkedAgain

I frequently do late-season trips to my water access property, fishing as much as I can while up there. Late season fishing is fun if you've got the right equipment. Years ago I switched to wearing my snowmobile helmet since it keeps your face/head much warmer when going across open water at speed, especially when the snow is flying!

As for the motor, it's pretty much been said. Let it drain vertically and you'll be fine. Water expands when it freezes but only by about 9% (did you know that it also contracts just before it freezes!). So as long as you don't have water trapped without space for that 9% expansion, you are fine.

Personally I'm not a fan of using antifreeze unless you recapture it and re-use or recycle. Running it out on your driveway or lawn just puts it into the rivers or groundwater. If you're really concerned about freezing, drain it really well and then blow it out with compressed air. One could use an air compressor on things like your livewell tubes but be careful around smaller hoses. Personally I think it's all overkill after you've let it drain. If you've got a bigger motor with flushing plugs, you can pull those off to eliminate any potential vacuum holding water in.

Edited by SkunkedAgain

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Surface Tension

By now we should all be used to trimming the outboard down to drain any water left in the lower unit.
 Doing so is a requirement to slow down the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species.

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