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Temps below freezing, but Boat still not winterized


TSCTSC

Question

As you know, it is below freezing now, and the snow has fallen, and some of the rivers and waters have started to freeze over. I have still not winterized my boat although I have been tipping my motor to make sure that the water drains out. Other than that, I have not done anything else. I took the boat out last weekend, and am hoping to go out to the Mississippi this Sunday and catch some walleyes near the dams where the water will probably still be unfrozen. Will my boat and motor be OK being still not winterized at this time?

Thanks!!

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If there's any water in the lower unit it can freeze and crack it. Other than that, outboards are self-draining,

although to make sure all the water is out pull the spark plug wires and turn the motor over a few times. The water pump will spit out anything left in the system.

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I presume then that tilting the motor up and then down is not good enough? What do you mean by turning the motor? Do I pull the spark plug cables and then try to turn the key to the motor to turn out the rest of the water? Thanks!

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By "turning the motor over" I mean turning the key if electric start or pulling if manual start. Yes, most of the water drains out on it's own. But, by doing this the water pump turns without the motor starting and usually some more water will come out, even if it's just a few drops. Do it with the motor down. Very easy to do. I don't know how many other people do this. I've always done it, just peace of mind knowing you've got all the water possible out.

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I do what Wavey Davey is suggesting, except I don't pull the plug wires off. I actually start the motor, and let it run for 3-5 seconds.

Spits out any remaining water. If anyone out there knows that 3-5 seconds of "uncooled" engine running is detromental to the motor, then speak up. smirk.gif

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Hemlock, it's "risky" for your water pump impeller.

If motor is tilted down it won't have any freezing problem.

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OK....great...so sounds like with respect to the motor and lower unit, I am fine because :

1. I tilt the motor out and drain the water

2. My lower unit oil was changed about 1-2 months ago.

However, I realized that I had left water in my livewells and when I just checked, there was a thin layer of ice on it. I had kept them both on recirculation which keeps my minnows alive. I tried to empty them by turning my livewell switch but they are both stuck! And when I tried to switch on the aerator, they both shorted out, I think cos the switch light came on and promptly went out. I drained the livewells by pulling the plugs.

So, now, what do I do with my livewells. Have I screwed them over and am looking at a big repair job?

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You don't tilt motor out, you leave it down, which means it stays vertical.

Throw a some RV antifreeze in the tanks and try to warm up boat if possible. If you can find a shop or place with heat and you can leave it there for a day it will be fine, otherwise these 40 deg sunny days might help.

The switches have fuses, check fuse block, don't panic and

use common sense when doing things.

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You probably just blew fuses for your aerators .I keep my livewells empty at this time of year and use a bucket and a cooler if im keepin fish.If your recirculation and auto switches on your boat are a cable operated system you may have streched the cables trying to turn them.To check this ,put water in your livewell then hit empty then hit recirc then auto .The water should stop draining when not in empty position.I think 5amp fuses might be the norm for aerator and baitwell pumps.I run into these problems alot cause I never want to store my boat when i should.Oh well hope this helps...

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Thanks Valv and croixeyes, and everyone else! Appreciate all the response and expert advice. Hope my livewell is better the next few days. Will check my fuses....hope it is just that. Thanks!

Oh....is it a good idea to put any additives in the fuel now?

Stabil or seafoam or both?

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Thanks Valv. Is it just plain bad to run it because the rubber of the impeller doesn't like to be dry, or the off chance there's some sand or grit in there, without water...? Let me know.

One important thing about me running it dry like that, I have found that it kicks out water that wouldn't necessarily have drained. I mean when I start 'er up, she kicks out a bit (~cup) of water. That's after three days of sitting in garage.

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The little rubber impeller has a tendency to spin very fast and with nothing like water to lubricate, it will burn up very fast. You really don't want to start an outboard or I/O without some kind of water feeding into it.

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