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FishinKansan81

Winterizing Question

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Hey All:

 

I'm leaving by boat in the driveway this winter in anticipation of fishing on some warmer days at the local power plant lake. The majority of the winter however is under 32 degrees. My overflow and drain lines remain bone dry, so no issue there. My question is about the recirc pump and livewell pump lines. Do those pumps hold water in the lines due to some form of backflow preventer after the pumps or will they naturally drain out/down? I sincerely don't want to remove all the crap in my bilge, pull batteries and disconnect hoses unnecessarily to find out if I can avoid it. Curious if someone could verify. As much as I'd like to launch in the winter and find my boat filling with 34 degree water from a busted hose, I'm going to try to avoid it :) 

 

Thanks in advance!

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I fish all year because I have access to a power plant lake.  If I can get the boat out, I can fish.  I also store outside.  You didn't give the year and maker of your boat/motor and some things are different.  I just pull the drain plug, make sure the motor is tilted down and unscrew and dump the water pressure hose from the side of my motor.  If I do use my livewell, I just make sure they are drained.  I have the newer style water pressure gauge that works off a signal rather than water pressure to the gauge so I don't have to worry about that.  The hose on the side of the motor could be the speedo.  It has a garden hose style screw on and a small water line.  I dump it out every time I go out.  Also store the motor straight up and down and do not tilt it up until you are ready to hook up.  

 

 

new snow.jpg

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Awesome pic and thanks for the reply! It's a '95 Champion 190DC. It has an '88 Yamaha Pro V 150 on it. I was just planning on putting Stabil in what gas is left, keeping the plug out and taking it out when it warms up. Out of curiosity, what's the reason for tiling the motor down off the transom saver? Just keeping water out of the prop area?

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The reason for dropping the engine to a vertical position is to assure that the lower unit drains properly.  You hadn't even mentioned the engine, but that is the highest risk, IMHO.  My dealer mentioned to me a  practice that he said was used by duck hunters in cold weather.  As they leave the water, with the lower unit out of the water, they start the engine, letting it turn over only a few times.  But time enough for the water to eject out of the indicator stream fitting.  it's visual so you will see the water spit out  for only a second or two, then no water.  This indicates the water pump in the engine has no water in it.

 

Drain and overflow refer to live well, I assume. They have no pumps so should drain nicely and not be problems.  My dealer last year shut off the valve on the live well pump.  I had not done that on another boat for 20 years with no problems, but it seems to be a part of his winterizing.  He might have put rec anti freeze in the line but I don't know.  I would think that running that pump dry with the boat out of the water would be adequate, but possibly someone else will chime in to clarify.  My current boat is a Lund.

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I think generally as long as the boat is sitting such that the transom is lower than the bow the plumbing will drain to a point where whatever water might remain in the lines it won't be enough to split a line. There have been times where I've taken a shop vac and either blown out the lines or sucked them out at the thru hull fittings but I've never had an issue when I didn't. I have smoked a water pressure gauge (older style) by not clearing out the line and gauge.

 

Maybe you already have this covered but one thing that you didn't ask about and hasn't been mentioned is to make sure that the lower unit oil isn't water contaminated. I'd imagine it would take a fair amount of water but a buddy of mine didn't check his before winter and came out to find a chunk of his lower unit housing laying in the driveway one day after the contaminated lu oil froze and blew the side off. 

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I take the caps off my pump and add antifreeze while the pump is running until it comes out. Then I don't use my livewell in the winter. Also at least add stabilizer to your fuel. Stabil 360  has an anti corrosion additive. It's a good idea to pull your plugs and spray fogging oil then replace the plugs if you will be going 2 months without use. Also, this is a good time to change your lower gear oil. This allows you to check  the seals for leakage.  If  water gets into your lower unit then freezing temps can cause a lot of damage.

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