Three Steps That Will Prepare Your Boat Motor For Winter Storage

Moving your boat to a storage facility at a site like over the winter months is a great idea. It keeps the boat safe from weather damage without taking up valuable space in your backyard. However, putting a boat into storage for the winter is not as simple as just towing it over to the yard, and dropping it off. Your boat motor, in particular, needs to be fully prepared for the months ahead when it will not be used. Follow these three steps so that you do not have problems with your boat motor after winter is over.

Battery Disconnect

The first step in your winterize project is to disconnect the battery from the boat motor. There are several reasons for doing this:

  1. All batteries discharge over time. While your boat battery will not freeze if it is left outside, disconnecting it makes it easier to keep the battery charge topped up over the winter.
  2. Boat batteries can attract corrosion around the terminals. For example, if you use anything but distilled water to refill the battery plate, additives in the water can cause corrosion to occur. Corrosion that is not removed can eat through the metal terminal, and that makes the battery worthless. By keeping the boat battery at home, you can check it weekly, and remove any corrosion as soon as it appears.

Flush the Motor

Another place that you need to prevent corrosion from appearing is within the motor itself. If you put the motor into storage without flushing it out, the salt from the water can cause the motor to rust from the inside out. To flush out a boat motor you need to:

  • Decide which freshwater flush is the best for your engine. The three main choices are using a flush muff, attaching a garden hose to an attachment built into your boat motor, or using a flushing bag. Since each boat motor is different in design depending on the manufacturer, your boat motor manual is the best way to decide which option to use. If your boat motor does not have a built in flushing attachment, for example, then one of the other two options will be necessary.
  • Once you know which flush method you are going to use, run the boat motor for five minutes at 50% throttle. This allows the fresh water to move through the motor, and it will flush out any saltwater that is hiding within.

Emptying Fuel

The next step in making sure corrosion does not occur is to remove any fuel that is sitting in the carburetor, fuel hose, and fuel pump. In a matter of months the fuel that is left in these areas will begin to break down, and that could cause engine damage.

While your motor is running after the flush stage, disconnect the fuel line. By allowing the engine to keep running until it no longer has any fuel, you clear out the fuel hose, and the fuel pump.

Next, you need to remove any fuel that remains in the carburetor. To do this you must locate the drain screw on the carburetor. On many motors it is located on the rear of the carburetor base. If you are having problems locating it, refer to the owner's manual for your motor. You can obtain a copy of the manual online if you have misplaced the one that was delivered with your motor.

Before you remove the drain screw, place a collection container underneath it to catch the fuel. An old coffee tin is a good collection vessel for the fuel. After the fuel has finished draining, replace the screw.

Finally, add a fuel stabilizer to the remaining fuel in your tank. This will prevent condensation from forming in the tank while the boat is not in use. Condensation left to sit can cause the inside of your fuel tank to rust over time.

Once you have followed these steps your boat motor is ready for storage over the winter. It will only take half a day to take care of this chore, but it will save you from having to buy a new motor before you can go boating again in the spring.