Almost everyone knows to elevate the trailer tongue and
remove the drain plug, so that water can exit the boat. They should also
recognize how easily leaf debris or ice can foil this drainage system. Only
an overhead shelter can provide sure protection against water buildup, and it
prevents the mold damage frequently caused by a close fitting cover.
Lubrication is best accomplished with a warm engine. With
the lower unit in the water, take off the cowling, start the motor and
disconnect the gas line. As the fuel remaining in the carburetor burns up,
squirt oil directly into the carburetor intake. In a few seconds, the
outboard will start gasping and smoking. Shut it off quickly. At this point
a nice coat of protective oil covers the interior of the cylinders and
The powerhead can also be lubricated after the motor is out
of the water. Remove the motor’s spark plugs and inject a bit of same oil,
into each cylinder. Turn the motor over a few times, then replace the spark
The gears of an outboard’s lower unit are bathed in a heavy
oil, which should be changed annually. Before draining the lubricant, check
for water contamination of the lower unit by loosening just the lower gearcase
plug. If water trickles out before the lubricant starts to seep, your seals
are probably bad. Either take the motor to a repair shop or replace them
Check your propeller. If the blades are nicked, worn or
bent back, your motor will not operate at its peak power of fuel efficiency.
Unless they are badly worn or damaged, propellers can be made like new at a
repair shop. Ask you outboard dealer for details.
Preparing the boat for winter is a habit most owners try
not to forget. Before that first frost hits, boats are prepped for a long
winter nap. Engines are fogged, lower unit grease replaced and wheel bearings
packed. It makes preparing for that first trip in the spring a bit easier.
"Too often, the attachments to the boat are simply
overlooked", said Computrol® Blair Carpender. The fishfinder worked great on
the last trip and the downriggers did their job flawlessly. But these high
tech electronics need special care.
"First, unplug power cords and remove the fish finders from
the boat", he said. They should be stored inside away from the extreme winter
cold. Bottom Line® fishfinders work just as good in January as they did in
August but prolonged storage in cold is not recommended. Apply anti-oxidants
to terminal connections to reduce oxidation potential, and this is a good time
to inspect components, looking for cracks in transducer or cables.
Carpender added that now is also a good time for servicing
if needed, such as replacing scratched screens or fixing known problems. Send
the unit to the factory or factory authorized service center for inspection
Cannon® electric downriggers should have power cords
unplugged and units removed for inside storage. Like the sonars, electric
downriggers work just as great in winter but prolonged storage in the elements
is not recommended.
Here again, apply anti-oxidants to terminal connections to
reduce oxidation potential. Electric units should be serviced once a year at
the factory or factory authorized service center. It's quick, usually a three
day stay at the service center, and not very expensive, about an hour of
service time charge.
Manual downrigger units can be left on the boat and stored
anywhere, cold and ice will not hurt them. Cannon cables are stainless so no
worry there. Just inspect units for cracks or broken parts and replace as
That's it, a simple process that prolongs the life of the
units and takes them out of service at a time when they are not being used