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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally found the right boat for me at the right price, I've been looking on and off for over a year for something to get me on the river. I primarily bought the boat to chase steelhead, I'm local to St Joe so that'll be the river I'm on most the time. However, I'll also use it for walleye and smallies and probably to take the kids on some smaller inland lakes for pan fish. The boat is 17' with a 50hp prop on the back, has a 45lb 12v trolling motor and two graphs on board. The only thing it really doesn't have that I might add is an electric winch for the anchor, but that can wait.

Question, for those of you who run your boats all winter as I plan to, how do you drain the engines so they don't freeze between trips? Anyone put RV antifreeze in them?

Any recommendations on places to put in at on the Grand? This is my first fishing boat so I'm fairly new to the whole experience. I live just over an hour south of GR so if anyone feels generous enough to PM some helpful advice on the river I'd appreciate it.

Any other tips for a first time boat owner? Whether it be around winter fishing or not, I'm looking forward to spending more time on the water and hopefully catching more fish.

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like a nice boat. Congrats!

For draining in winter use?

I see guys at the boat launch fire their motor just for a second.
My dad told me that its not a good idea as it can damage the pump seals. I see a lot of guys do it, so I figure its not that big of a deal. I've done it a few times when it was really cold but just for a second.

Mostly I just tilt the motor down and let in run out. Maybe tilt it up and down and turn it back and forth like that a couple times. Then leave it down while I pack my stuff and clean my fish.
Then store it in the down position when I get it home.
 

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Leave the motor down to let it drain. I will check in the fall that the gear lube in the lower unit didn't take on any water.

I fish the Grand until it's frozen over at least once a week.

Send me a PM if you are looking for bass/pike info. Can't help with the silver fish as I can never catch them from a boat in a river.
 

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Pull the kill switch and run the motor over for a second or 2 with it all the way down. With the kill sw removed the motor will not start and damage the impeller as the motor starting RPM ran for a short while will not over heat the plastic bits.
 
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I fish variety of outboard boats all winter long. Nothing necessary to winterize after use. All outboards that are water cooled will drain themselves. You may end up with ice in the indicator line if there is a belly in the hose from from head to the bottom of the casing it exits from.it sometimes will take a bit upon next start up to indicate water is pumping while the exhaust water builds a temp hot enough to melt the ice in the indicator. Just pay attention to the exhaust port above water, you will have water spitting from that which means impeller is good to go. Just be sure to keep an eye few times a winter on lower unit fluid. Make sure it's not taking on water which will cause issues if water ratio becomes greater than oil, freezing and possibly damaging lower unit.
 
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The outboards will self drain. You can exercise them by tilting them up and down but it's not necessary. Definitely put them in the vertical position while you are putting away your gear if you haven't already done so. When you get home blow them out with a small compressor (i.e. harborfreight or other) through the flushing port and backwards through the pee hole. You with hear the air and see what's left come out on you floor if it didn't already from the self draining. I've done this for years with no problems. My main motor is a 60hp mercury and a 9.9 yamaha kicker on a 16-1/2' crestliner sport angler. I run the boat all year long on the big lakes, small lakes and rivers.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 

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Im new to boating as well, last year completely melted my impeller. We had the motor tilted back all night to avoid it grinding into gravel from wake all evening. Anyways, my guess is ice was built up inside the impeller blades, and the drive shafter just spun in the center and melted the it. Blew a hardened melted epoxy type resin right through the impeller cup too. So this year, Ive thrown a can of canned air in the boat, going to give it a few blasts through the pee hole for good measure after a day out, and/or if possible just take the damn motor inside the cabin for the night ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate all the feedback, glad to hear it isn’t super labor intensive to keep these motors running all winter. Hoping to get out for the maiden voyage either tomorrow or Saturday. Will be trying for steelhead, but mostly just getting familiar with the boat. A fish or two will be a bonus.
 

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this seems to worked for me, tilt the motor up, run the water out, then slip a garbage bag over the lower part of the motor, now lower the motor back down in to the water, make sure the bag is pulled up above the water line,, i was told this will work also, tilt the motor up, run the water out, n put a cork in the pee hole, n lower it back down, then remove the cork before starting again
Im new to boating as well, last year completely melted my impeller. We had the motor tilted back all night to avoid it grinding into gravel from wake all evening. Anyways, my guess is ice was built up inside the impeller blades, and the drive shafter just spun in the center and melted the it. Blew a hardened melted epoxy type resin right through the impeller cup too. So this year, Ive thrown a can of canned air in the boat, going to give it a few blasts through the pee hole for good measure after a day out, and/or if possible just take the damn motor inside the cabin for the night ;)
 

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I finally found the right boat for me at the right price, I've been looking on and off for over a year for something to get me on the river. I primarily bought the boat to chase steelhead, I'm local to St Joe so that'll be the river I'm on most the time. However, I'll also use it for walleye and smallies and probably to take the kids on some smaller inland lakes for pan fish. The boat is 17' with a 50hp prop on the back, has a 45lb 12v trolling motor and two graphs on board. The only thing it really doesn't have that I might add is an electric winch for the anchor, but that can wait.

Question, for those of you who run your boats all winter as I plan to, how do you drain the engines so they don't freeze between trips? Anyone put RV antifreeze in them?

Any recommendations on places to put in at on the Grand? This is my first fishing boat so I'm fairly new to the whole experience. I live just over an hour south of GR so if anyone feels generous enough to PM some helpful advice on the river I'd appreciate it.

Any other tips for a first time boat owner? Whether it be around winter fishing or not, I'm looking forward to spending more time on the water and hopefully catching more fish.

Thanks!
Always bring salt, a shovel, and a tow/recovery strap when fishing sub freezing temperatures. And here’s a bg one for those launching and retrieving boats in temperatures in the 30’s and below, please drain your trailer before pulling up the ramp! All it takes is one person dragging all that water up the ramp, and it turns into a skating rink. It only takes a minute or so to drain the trailer. Tire chains can be another good thing to have for just your front or rear tires.
 

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Always bring salt, a shovel, and a tow/recovery strap when fishing sub freezing temperatures. And here’s a bg one for those launching and retrieving boats in temperatures in the 30’s and below, please drain your trailer before pulling up the ramp! All it takes is one person dragging all that water up the ramp, and it turns into a skating rink. It only takes a minute or so to drain the trailer. Tire chains can be another good thing to have for just your front or rear tires.
And don’t unhook you winch strap until half of the boat is in the water! When using your boat in the cold, carpeted bunker will freeze and not grip the bottom of the boat, and the boat will go zipping off the trailer before it gets all the way into the water.
 

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Couple times I’ve watched someone backing their boat in and it started filling with water because boat was froze to bunkers. Darn current started pulling one truck into river before he had enough grip to get it out. If I’ve been running my boat in winter and or day before in freezing temperatures, I like to shake haul on trailer and watch for the haul to float off trailer. Just me…..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Great points on launching/retrieving in the winter, exactly the information I was looking for.

On another note, got the boat out for its maiden voyage this morning. It was a successful trip, had one on a plug line for a second before it broke off. Otherwise, we learned we need a bigger anchor and I have to get the motor checked out, I got a temp warning twice while at idle as it appears it isn’t pumping enough water at low rpm’s. Otherwise the motor fires right up and runs strong, just something going on at idle. It was 30° with a water temp of 38-39° and we had a good time, can’t wait to get out more.
 

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With an anchor weight is not always the solution. Verify the anchor is sized to your boat. The length of your rope (rode) should be 5 to 7 times the depth. West Marine’s web site has good info on anchoring.

Just trying to help you save your arms/back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With an anchor weight is not always the solution. Verify the anchor is sized to your boat. The length of your rope (rode) should be 5 to 7 times the depth. West Marine’s web site has good info on anchoring.

Just trying to help you save your arms/back.
Yeah, that’s good info. I had read that info as well about the amount of line, I just think that anchor was still too light. It didn’t help when a guy went by on plane about 15yds from us, that dislodged us quick. A winch will definitely be added in the future.
 

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If you are overheating at low rpms, your impeller most likely is giving out. The impeller itself is like a little octopus with rubber legs. They spin around snugly in a housing and develop a wore bend to them being encased. As they age and become worn, the "legs" or fins begin to break off. The higher the rpm, the faster that impeller will rotate and you may be pumping enough water at higher speeds , even yet that the motor requires more water to stay cool. At idle however, the dysfunctional impeller just doesn't have enough ooomphhh to kick adequate water up to the engine.
 
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Also, not sure the river you maiden voyaged or the weight of your anchor, but Anchor type, amount of rode, (length of line between anchor and attachment point) and size of your boat all.play into it. Also, bottom type, current speed, and water levels will also give you different readings. I have a 14' I run with 25lbs of chain and that stays put pretty much anywhere. But in heavy flows and gravel, I have slid on occasion. Extra rode typically will stop me. Run the same 25lb on my 16 ft or my 20' toon, and I'm usually fighting and sliding all over. I recently upgraded from a 25 lb electric to 40 lb winch on the toon but have yet to run 40lb of chain. Next weekend I'll be testing that out.

With chain, the idea is you can slide downriver with it while reducing the rode. I
Another option is to "push" and drag the boat downriver with oar. Chain will typically never snag up and holds well in variety of bottoms.

Pyramids on the other hand are made to drop and stay put.
A lot of it is preference too of the styles one wishes to fish and what they want from the anchor to begin with
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you are overheating at low rpms, your impeller most likely is giving out. The impeller itself is like a little octopus with rubber legs. They spin around snugly in a housing and develop a wore bend to them being encased. As they age and become worn, the "legs" or fins begin to break off. The higher the rpm, the faster that impeller will rotate and you may be pumping enough water at higher speeds , even yet that the motor requires more water to stay cool. At idle however, the dysfunctional impeller just doesn't have enough ooomphhh to kick adequate water up to the engine.
That's what I've been hearing. Going to get it in and checked out, I obviously know nothing to be digging in and working on it myself, maybe one day. I appreciate the information and breakdown on how the impeller works, did not have a clue as to how it functioned.
 
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