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Old 09-26-2013, 12:15 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 50
Default Newbie needs tips- using the boat occasionally through the winter

My boat (1800 SR 4.3 merc IO) stays on the trailer and I live in coastal SE North Carolina. I want to use the boat for light fishing through the "winter". So, the question is, how should I maintain the engine in between runs.

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Old 09-26-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 2,154

Welcome to the website first and to second your questions........ is alot of ifs.

Does it freeze in your area? All during the day or for more than three days? Probably not.

If you have temps above freezing then it drops below 32 for the night its ok. Just to put a light bulb in the engine compartment overnight will help you there or you can buy engine heaters.

Can you find indoor storage through the winter so you don't hve to deal with all this?

Or should I winterize by draining the water from the engine block if it is going to freeze that night after I use it?

I would still do your normal maintence on a regular bases ( change the engine oil and all filters and outdrive fluid)

That is my 2 cents worth, just got to watch that temp guage.


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Old 09-26-2013, 04:14 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Essex, Maryland
Posts: 8,213

cuzins wlcome aboard.

From what I have seen on the weather channel you get spells of freezing temps. You are actualy in the danager zone and can find articals on boatus website about this. Folks in your area don't winterize the boat get hit with a cold spell and end up with a cracked engine block. As Roger said you need to either keep the engine warm (heated garage, ... not sure a light bulb will work depending on how cold and for how long) or drain the water out of the engine and exhaust system if freezing temps are coming.

Issue I have seen in your area is ice storms that cause power outages so heated garage or engine heaters don't work without power unless you have a generator.

In addition to the maintance Roger mentioned use gas stabilizer (probably most important thing next to not letting the engine crack).
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