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This will be my first winter with my bass boat I bought this year. It is a 2008 Triton Aluminum VT-17 Tournament Sport. It has a 2008 Mercury 50HP 2-Stroke. Can someone with this motor and similar setup please explain to me what you do in order to winterize your boat. I'm going to try to keep it in my father-in-law's garage this winter but there is a chance I may not be able to and will need to keep it outside my house by my drive way. For us fishing season is pretty much non-existant from November - March as the lakes freeze. I do have an all-weather boat and motor cover that I keep on it every time its not on the water. 

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As far as to keep gas tank full or empty, it's up to you. You'll hear both sides, pros/cons and horror stories of both. Personally, I run the tank empty on my last trip on the water prior to winterizing, put in a full tank of ethanol free gas mixed /w seafoam, startron, and stabil. I'll take the boat home and run the new gas/additives through the motor for 30 minutes on the hose to make sure everything gets into the lines/motor. Pull the carb covers off and spray fogging oil into the carbs until it gets close to choking. Turn the boat off. Pull spark plugs and put some fogging oil into the plug holes on each side of the block. Turn the prop by hand if you want or give the key a quick turn to get the oil spread. Put the plugs back in. Drain the lower unitl oil into a pan and check for any water/large shavings. If clean, refill lower unit /w correct oil. If you find water/large shavings, find a mechanic. Take batteries out of boat and put them inside on a trickle charger 1-2 times  a month. Cover boat and go. If you are storing it outside make sure you keep your motor trimmed down so snow doesn't sit in the LU, get in the gear gase, and freeze. Wouldn't hurt to wrap it, either. Mine gets stored inside so i remove the prop, too. This is what I do. Boat starts up first turn of the key every spring. 

Oh, if you have a water PSI gauge, it wouldn't hurt to remove the hose off the back of the gauge to make sure water doesn't freeze in there. 

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Or, you could take it to a service shop and have them professional winterize and shrink wrap the whole rig.  As far as storing it inside or outside, I would advise keeping it inside even if you have to pay extra for it.  It will greatly increase the condition your boat stays in for many years.  Removing batteries and electronics are obviously a good idea regardless of where its going to be stored.

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1.)  Change lower unit lube/oil

2.)  Fog engine: take out spark plugs, shoot Seafoam Fogger inside, turn key for a second or two, put spark plugs back in loosely. 

 

I had a built in 3 bank charger that is also a trickle charger so I just plugged in my batteries and left it like that all winter.

Storing a boat outside is one of the worst things you can do for a boat, so if you can store it inside go for it.  

**** I always put Stabil and usually Seafoam in every time I fill the gas tank up. That way if something happens to me mid-season and I can't fish anymore the gas is stabilized as it tends to start breaking down after a week or two apparently. 

I also try to put the boat away with as full a gas tank as I can. 

 

You can watch youtube videos on how to do all of this. It's not hard. 

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No love for the trailer bearings? Don't forget about them

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Good advice above. Also make sure to leave the plug out of the boat if stored outside. 

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A lot of outboard problems can be avoided if you fill your fuel tank with ethanol free gasoline too.

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I have read and also spoken to people about the 4 stroke engines and fogging. 

Consensus I get is that 4 stroke engines do not need to be fogged.

Which way is it? 

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You can also pumpthru propylene glycol after oil chg and fogging.  I add the antifreeze here in lower Michigan and store in garage.  Just added insurance.  Also grease steering, chk trim oil, tighten bolts all over.  I also put open bags of mothballs n cedar to keep out mice.  

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I was told that all that is really needed to be done is to Change out the lower unit oil, change filters, replace spark plugs, fill tank full with fuel, add seafoam and sta-bil. Regrease the trailer barings and prop. Remove batteries and keep tended. Does that about cover it? 

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I've had a lot of conflicting info regarding running the motor dry of gas vs. leaving the gas in with stabilized gas. I tried both.  For the first few years I would run the motor dry, but I had a hard time getting it to start come spring and it took a few trips for it to run well.  The last two winters I ran some Stabil and Startron through the motor and left the gas in over the winter . The motor started on the first try each spring.

I mentioned this to my mechanic and he said that leaving the stabilized gas in keeps the seals lubricated.  Whether that is true or not, it has been my experience that leaving stabilized gas in the motor is the better route.

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On 10/25/2016 at 11:19 AM, RHuff said:

I was told that all that is really needed to be done is to Change out the lower unit oil, change filters, replace spark plugs, fill tank full with fuel, add seafoam and sta-bil. Regrease the trailer barings and prop. Remove batteries and keep tended. Does that about cover it? 

Fog the engine and spray fogging oil inside the plug holes, too.

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On 10/25/2016 at 11:19 AM, RHuff said:

I was told that all that is really needed to be done is to Change out the lower unit oil, change filters, replace spark plugs, fill tank full with fuel, add seafoam and sta-bil. Regrease the trailer barings and prop. Remove batteries and keep tended. Does that about cover it? 

This is what I do.

1.  Change our the lower unit oil. (Always in the fall so if there is any water in there it will be removed for winter and not freeze.)

2.  Fill gas tank and add Stabil and Seafoam ( I do it every fill up anyway ). 

3.  Fog the engine ( take out plugs, fog, put plugs back in, but not tightly like normal ). 

4. Batteries: if you have a charger that trickle charges/maintains the battery, just leave connected all year long. 

Re-greasing the bearings and prop can't hurt. Changing the filters can't hurt either but I've never heard of doing it every year. 

I do not change out plugs in the winter. I leave the old ones in all winter. Then in the spring when I run my motor in the tank I have the old plugs in to burn off the fogging agent. I then go fishing one time and run that motor at full throttle for a good bit and make sure there isn't anymore fogging smoke. Once I get home I put in new spark plugs for the rest of the year.  

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I guess i'll sell my boat, no use of having one if you can't store it inside. See plenty of Yachts stored outside and winterized at marinas, so this in my opinion is bull. As long as you take steps to protecting it well it shouldn't be an issue. What if your garage isn't heated or cooled, then does it matter if it's inside or outside? I can understand maybe a tree falling on it, or you live in a not so savory neighborhood, but that's why you have insurance.

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2 hours ago, boostr said:

I guess i'll sell my boat, no use of having one if you can't store it inside. See plenty of Yachts stored outside and winterized at marinas, so this in my opinion is bull. As long as you take steps to protecting it well it shouldn't be an issue. What if your garage isn't heated or cooled, then does it matter if it's inside or outside? I can understand maybe a tree falling on it, or you live in a not so savory neighborhood, but that's why you have insurance.

 

Ummmmmm...what?

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1 hour ago, BrianinMD said:

 

Ummmmmm...what?

 

Just an opinion. it wasn't what this post was a about, it was mentioned not just in this thread, but also from other sources . Some people say you should always store your boat inside or pay to store it inside during winter storage or storing it for a long time. Makes it sound like if you can't store your boat inside why bother owning one. I see plenty of expensive vessels winterized and stored outside, so I don't get it. A lot of folks don't have that option. makes it sound like it's the end of the world if stored outside. If it's well protected there shouldn't be an issue.

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That's a good point.  Some boats are just too large to store inside.  I see quite a few cruisers and great lakes boats stored outside with shrink wrap on them all winter.  However, given the choice of storing a boat outside or storing it inside, certainly one would choose to store it inside when not in use.  And most certainly a boat is going to look and last a lot longer if its stored inside every winter than if it was stored outside every winter.

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4 hours ago, boostr said:

 

Just an opinion. it wasn't what this post was a about, it was mentioned not just in this thread, but also from other sources . Some people say you should always store your boat inside or pay to store it inside during winter storage or storing it for a long time. Makes it sound like if you can't store your boat inside why bother owning one. I see plenty of expensive vessels winterized and stored outside, so I don't get it. A lot of folks don't have that option. makes it sound like it's the end of the world if stored outside. If it's well protected there shouldn't be an issue.

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