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Author Topic:   Winterizing your Whaler--Mistakes to avoid
jimh posted 10-12-2003 11:44 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
Avoid making these mistakes while winterizing your Boston Whaler classic (or Post-Classic):


--DON'T LOSE THE SPRAY NOZZLE TUBE! When you get ready to spray fogging oil into your engine's carburetors, be sure that the plastic tube is firmly seated into the spray nozzle. It is possible to spray that little tube right into the engine. Getting it out of the engine can be difficult.

--DON'T USE WRONG NUMBER OF WASHERS ON ENGINE LOWER UNIT DRAINS! When you change the lower unit oil in your outboard, check carefully that you are using the proper number of washers when you replace the drain and vent screws. The correct number is usually one washer. If you use zero washers or two washers, you probably will not get a good seal. It can be difficult to see the old washer, as often it is mashed down in the drain hole shoulder. Also, the dripping oil tends to obscure it. Wipe the oil away and check that there is a washer. Better yet, pry the old washer out, clean out any residue of it on the drain hole seat, and install a new washer.

--DON'T MIX LOWER UNIT OILS! Don't mix synthetic and standard oils in the lower unit. Fill with either one or the other, not a mixture. Don't mix them in your filler pump, either.

--DON'T RUSH THE DRAINING PROCESS. Pick a warm day and let the lower unit drain for at least 30 minutes after the flow has turned to a succession of drips from a steady stream. Use your tilt/trim to orient the drain as the lowest point.

--DON'T FORGET TO OPEN THE VENT SCREW! The vent screw (the upper screw) must be opened to allow the oil to drain. It also must be open to refill the oil.

--DON'T FORGET TO READ OWNER'S MANUAL. Follow the winterization procedure suggested in the owner's manual. It will tell you how to winterize the engine, whether or not to disconnect the fuel and let the engine stall out, where to lubricate, where to spray fogging oil. The maker of your engine knows best how to winterize it.

--DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE PROPELLER AND GREASE SHAFT. It is a good idea to remove the propeller from the propeller shaft. This prevents the metals from corroding together. The shaft should be greased. Be sure to note the orientation of the thrust washers and other fasteners as you remove the propeller. Use proper marine grease when refreshing the grease on the shaft. Use a new cotter pin on the propeller nut. Don't over-tighten.


--DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE DRAIN PLUGS IN HULL! Remove the hull drain plugs so that any water that might accumulate will be free to drain out.

--DON'T FORGET TO CLEAN UP THE BOAT! Spring is much more fun if when you pull the top off the boat everything is clean and polished. A warm afternoon in October is a better time to clean things up than a rainy Saturday in a cold April.


You can guess what I have been doing all weekend!

Add your own recommendations to this thread.

raygun posted 10-13-2003 12:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
If your boat is stored under a tarp outside, invest in a can of anti-corrosion spray and use it on that expensive outboard under the hood, especially on the bare metal fittings.
Remember to take care of your trailer on haul out for those of you whose boats were moored.
STABILIZE that full fuel tank before you fog so your carbs are full of stabilized fuel.
Top off those oil tanks too.

My Montauk comes out of the Sound on Tuesday :(

Sammy posted 10-13-2003 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sammy  Send Email to Sammy     
Don't forget to replace the sacrificial anodes on your outboard/outdrive if it has been more than a few years since they were last changed (every year is best if it is moored in saltwater).

Use a self-etching primer topcoated with a paint that matches the OEM finish on any bare metal showing on the lower unit to slow/eliminate galvanic corrosion.

jimh posted 10-13-2003 08:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
DON'T FORGET TO LET ENGINES RUN FOR 20 MINUTES TO DRAW STABILIZED FUEL INTO ENGINE. After adding stabilizer to the fuel tank, you will have to run the engine(s) long enough to draw the stabilized fuel into the engine. This helps prevent any problems with fuel residue in the lines and carburetors.
simonmeridew posted 10-13-2003 09:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for simonmeridew  Send Email to simonmeridew     
Thanks for the reminders about winterization... I did the same things this weedend too. How about remembering to grease the steering shaft, and storing it "out" rather than "in"?
Since I store my Montauk in my barn, I get red squirrels living in or at least building nests etc in the console a/o RPS compartment. I wonder if moth balls or other repellent might deter the critters. Anyone else have experience with this?
Plotman posted 10-13-2003 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Load that sucker up with mothballs!

I once parked a boat under a walnut tree. Critters were like wahoo- condo. I pulled 2 8 gallon shop vac containers full of walnut shells, moss and critter s*@t out of the nether regions of that boat. Even more of a pain was dealing with all the wires they chewed through - main engine wiring harness, GPS antenna, fishfinder transducer, etc.

bsmotril posted 10-13-2003 10:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for bsmotril  Send Email to bsmotril     
Don't forget to leave a few pie tins of mothballs in the cockpit to keep out cats and vermin who may decide your boat makes a nice cozy winter getway home. Note: I did NOT say that cat's are vermin ;-)


ratherwhalering posted 10-13-2003 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
We generally don't winterize here in California, but my question seems appropriate for this thread. Should the engine be up or down for storage? I usually short-term store my Johnson 90 in the down position and trailer it in the up position.
jimp posted 10-13-2003 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
If you cover your boat with tarps, or shrink wrap it, make sure it is ventilated! Yes, you do want air to flow through the covered boat, but you do not want moisture (rain or snow) in the boat. Leave overhangs with the tarp fore and aft. Ventilation helps prevent mildew and other nasty things from growing in your boat.

If you cover your boat for a snow load, make sure your cover framing is study enough to hold the load. Or that the snow can be easily swept off. Wet snow get very heavy and can easily crush or warp a frame.

Make sure your cover does not blow around. Secure all the grommet points. Can your cover withstand a 70-knot gust of wind? Will you worry about it when you live 60 miles from where your boat is at the marina? Will a flapping cover keep you or your neighbors awake? Use BIG knots and the largest diameter line you can - they're easier to untie in the spring. Small diameter nylon or parachute cord works just fine, but a wet, tight knot is tough to untie with cold fingers.

Make sure your cover allows you access to the inside of the boat during the winter. Because, you know for a fact, that you will need to get the measurements off of some piece of equipment so you can properly provide the correct description to your spouse for the Christmas gift you want. No point in ordering the wrong thing!

I remove my tires and store them in a dry location and put the trailer on blocks. Removing the tires gives me a chance to inspect the trailer's runnig gear, as well as breaking free the lug nuts and lubricating them. Salt water, sun, and heat are not kind to lug nuts. If you have trouble getting them off now with a 4' breaker bar, imagine doing it on a highway, or back road with a typical lug wrench.


oysterman posted 10-13-2003 01:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for oysterman  Send Email to oysterman     
Should store engine in the down position so water and oil will drain out. I hear it's still warm down there- I envy you.
Like Raygun, I'll be putting away this weekend. We did have a great summer up here, hope winter isn't too rough this year.
ratherwhalering posted 10-13-2003 03:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Thanks, oysterman, that what I thought. I usually lift the engine to just the point where the two rams and the shock sort of "meet". Don't be too envious of the weather here, we are finally seeing some sunshine, but "the coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco" has kinda come true this season.
DaveH posted 10-13-2003 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
Some other miscellaneous items:

* Create list of "items to complete" before starting in the spring and place printed copy on engine controls (especially if yard maintained). The list will include a reverse of winterizing engine list as well as needed repairs.
* Fill fuel tanks (prevents condensation) and add stabilizer.
* Close all sea cocks (keeps bugs and animals out) stuff a cork into through hull drains.
* Clean bilge (to observe bilge drippings in mostly inboards and I/O's)
* Finger tighten sparkplugs after fogging to prevent galling
* "Never Dull" on exterior metal surfaces, leave wet
* Place rags over all corners that the winter tarp might see to soften edge.
* Place desiccant bags (silica gel)in cabin to prevent mildew
* Lift all cushions off their bases, place on edge to allow air contact to prevent mildew. Open cushion zippers and allow foam to breath.
* Blow out all water lines and low points or add water safe antifreeze.
* Add one gallon bottle of cheap vodka into water tank to help kill bacteria bugs
* Wax all matallic zippers to prevent corrosion layer
* Remove battery and place on wood to prevent discharge.
* Spray battery terminals and terminal blocks with anti-corrosion spray. Check connetions for replcement in spring.
* Add grease to all pressure fittings to ensure removal of older grease which may contain corrosion byproducts
* Thoroughly clean the boat of all marks, fish blood stains and dirt to prevent them from becoming a permanent part of the gelcoat.
* Check dates on fire extinguishers and halon systems and get them replaced or refilled before the "spring rush"
* Take all boat lines including anchor rode and soak in hot soapy water to remove salt residue. Rinse with clean fresh water and completely dry.
* Do the same with life jackets (hot soapy water)
* Remove anything that's not bolted down (theft prevention)
* Remove all textile goods (linens, towels etc,), paper products and food as a source for critters to bed down for the winter.
* Remove all cans which may leave little nasty rust marks on the gelcoat and in the cooler.
* Leave refrigerator door opened for air circulation

That's it for now until I think of a few more.

dfmcintyre posted 10-13-2003 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
**DO NOT**
Just coat the hull with wax, intending on rubbing it off in the spring. It will come off only with _alot_ of effort. BTDT.


Buzzorouter posted 10-13-2003 08:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buzzorouter  Send Email to Buzzorouter     
Should you retract the power/tilt pistons/ shafts? Lock the engine up and hold the power tilt on down util they both retract. Should help with shaft rust.
hauptjm posted 10-14-2003 02:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
And David Letterman's number one winterization rule:

1. Move to the South and use your boat all 12 months!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.

John O posted 10-15-2003 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Any reason not to run fuel tank down (28 Gal Tempo) and remove from the boat for the winter empty? Store in a shed.

I would leave enough fuel to add stabilizer and run through the carbs when winterizing the outboard.

ShrimpBurrito posted 10-15-2003 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
Some folks have had problems with condensation in tanks that are left significantly less than full.
jimp posted 10-15-2003 10:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimp  Send Email to jimp     
John O -

No, no reason not to do it. But why? It should be fine staying in the boat.

If you're worried about vandals, then by all means, remove it. Or if you have a maintenance job to perform (paint it?), or want to work under the RPS this winter, take it out now.


SpeedBump posted 10-17-2003 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpeedBump  Send Email to SpeedBump     
I always fill my tanks and add fuel stabilizer, warm up the engine and make sure the stabilized fuel has entered the fuel system.

I then lubricate grease fittings, drain lower unit & replace oil, etc.

I then disconnect the fuel line at the outboard and run the carbs dry, make sure the fuel filter bowl is empty and clean.

I pull the plugs, fog each cylinder with oil, crank the engine to circulate the fogging oil, replace the plugs finger tight and call it a day.

From what others have stated it appears running the carbs dry is not a necessary function when using a fuel stabilizer.

Is there a benefit to leaving the stailized fuel in the fuel system over running the carbs dry?

Buckda posted 10-20-2003 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
One additional thing I do to keep the engine looking great, and to ward off corrosion:

After you've detailed (thoroughly cleaned) your boat (including your engine!), and before you put the engine cowling back on for the last time, spray a fine mist of silicone lubricant on all of the electrical harnesses and rubber (spark plug boots, wiring, even the little hose that leads to the tattle tale). This will protect the rubber from drying and cracking, and keep the engine compartment looking very nice. Keeping your engine clean also allows you to easily spot any new leaks (I do this with my automobile engine twice a year too after a good steam cleaning).

Now is also a good time to take care of your trailer - coat the wheels with a good, coating moisturizer such as Westley's Black Magic (Best if you can find the bottle versus the spray application - it goes on thicker). Also, coat be sure to protect your wiring, check your bulbs and repair/replace any defective/broken parts. This is a good time to touch up the rust spots on the trailer as well.

Finally, if your engine/boat has developed any problems (i.e. mechanical, or cosmetic), now is the time to make an appointment with your marina or boatyard for repairs - take advantage of their off season when any repairs won't affect your boating time, or your boating budget.

Great thread - it is helping me to develop my checklist for this fall.


jameso posted 10-20-2003 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Po Yankees,
Guess this is all lost on me! Took the SS out Sat was 80F when I launched, ran the boat hard for about 20 miles. Does that qualify as 'Winterizing'???
Jim Armstrong
jimh posted 10-21-2003 08:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Below is a hyperlink to a list of THINGS TO DO, as opposed to this list which was meant to be a list of THINGS NOT TO DO.

DaveH posted 10-21-2003 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
O.K. Jimh, just add "Don't forget to..." in front of everything I said in my list. :-?
GeneNJ posted 10-27-2003 06:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for GeneNJ  Send Email to GeneNJ     
A comment on prop tightening. I turn the nut tight, then back off to leave a slight wink so that the prop can move on the shaft when going between forward and reverse. This motion will break any corrision buildup.
striper swiper posted 10-27-2003 07:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
Buy some of those sticky mouse traps for the little critters .These sticky pads usually catch more than one mouse ,chipmunk,bat crickets these traps on the deck,under console ,in cabin etc.also ,i usually coat the stainless /and chrome with a coat oil to inhibit the rust,heavily oil the teak,tighten rail set screws and all screws on the boat.
Disco Stu posted 10-28-2003 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Disco Stu  Send Email to Disco Stu     
How about drilling holes in the bottom to drain any potential water build up in the hull?

I have and old boat and though I have done my best to prevent it I suspect that some water must have penetrated my hull. I am wondering if its a good idea for us owners of older whalers to add this step to our yearly winterization process? Assuming I don't forget to epoxy the holes back in next summer, is there any reason that this would degrade my hull if I were to do this on a yearly basis?

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