De-Winterize Your Boat

De-Winterizing Your Outboard Motor

De-Winterizing an outboard motor is simple and, if done correctly, will help your outboard motor run smoothly for many years. Evinrude motors are simple and easy to work on, which means that any boat owner can de-winterize their boat quickly and easily. In addition to providing an opportunity for a comprehensive examination of the engine, a de-winterization ritual also allows Evinrude owners to replace worn hoses, belts and filters before heading to the water for the first time this spring. A proper de-winterization requires boat owner to do the following things:

1) Check the Engine Oil

If the engine oil wasn’t changed before the boat was winterized, check and change it now to make sure things run smoothly during your first run this spring or summer. Check and change the out-drive oil if needed and replace the oil filter.

2) Tend to the Cooling System

Do a careful once-over of the cooling system. Ideally, the cooling system was completely emptied and drained before winter in order to avoid frozen lines. During de-winterization, boat owners should empty the strainer and carefully search the hoses for any cracks or compromised areas that could impair motor function.

3) Check the Fuel Lines

It is important to fill the fuel tank before winterizing a boat so as to avoid the formation of moisture in the tank. During de-winterization, change the fuel filter and give the fuel lines a careful check. Be advised that fuel lines often crack during cold temperatures and may need to be replaced as a part of the de-winterization process.

4) Clean the Distributor

Remove the distributor cap and check for any corrosion. Clean the area and ensure that connectors are properly hooked together before closing the cap.

5) Check Belt Tension

Examine the outboard motor’s belts and pay careful attention to belts that seem too loose. Belts that are the correct tension should give only slightly when pushed down with a finger. If the belt gives significantly or feels saggy, it is too loose and needs to be replaced. Look for black debris near the alternator pulley that may indicate a tired alternator belt and replace if needed.

6) Refer to Your Owner’s Manual

Check your owner’s manual for any additional tasks that may need to be completed in order to fully de-winterize the boat. Although the above tips cover all the general de-winterization bases, individual motors may require special care or attention.