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Put the boat away in the garage for the season last weekend. Brought the batteries in. Stored the rods, net, tackle boxes and electronics, put some stabil in the fuel I'm ready for the winter.

What kind of things do you guys do to prep the boat for the winter?
 

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My big boat was winterized and shrink wrapped over a month ago...my Lunker just went fishing again yesterday morning. Storage for the Lunker?...back it into the garage and get it ready for the next trip out...tonight or tomorrow maybe!
 

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Don't forget to change the oil in the lower unit on your outboards.

What do you guys do with batteries over the winter? Just charge it occasionally, or do you put it on a maintainer?
 

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Don't forget to change the oil in the lower unit on your outboards.

What do you guys do with batteries over the winter? Just charge it occasionally, or do you put it on a maintainer?
17.5 Crestliner, 115 hp with 9.9 4 stroke kicker, I always chg lower oil in both motors, and pack berrings, add stabil. I Charge the batteries (I have 3) occasionally on trickle, since I use it up till ice and take it out early. I also have an attatched garage which helps. I also the change spark plugs every spring. seeya
 

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fill gas tank and add conditioner. Raise and lower motors to drain all water out from the lower unit. typical charge batteries, check water level in the batteries. disconnect leads and clean. then spray with a corrosion resisitant spray http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/4KK70
pull the drain plug on the lower units to check for water intrusion.. if none replace plugs. ( any water WILL run out first if the engine has sat to where the water seperates and it is heavier than the lower unit fluid) ( change fluid next season after couple of times out ) i know this goes against general practice, but over the winter you will get alot of moisture in the lower unit from the ground being cold and the air getting warmer. after you run the engine in the spring then change the fluid and you won't have that moisture in the fluid for the whole season to try to boil it off. also with a warmer outside temp you will get a better full drain of the fluid.
remove electronic's, release trailer straps, vacuum the boat. fog engine cyl's then turn over by hand and replace plugs.. put new plugs in after 2 times out in the spring. spray ALL the engine wiring with silicone spray ( this includes the spark plug wires), lube the fitting on the engines. top off tire pressure to max psi. make sure livewells and baitwells are drained.
then hope spring comes REALLY early!
 

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I do not have an onboard charger (I plan to add that next year) so I pulled all four Batteries. I have a bench in the garage (that is heated and has A/C. Yes I'm spoiled) to store them after they are fully charged. I took anything that has liquid in it out and stored it in a box marked "Boat". That includes the fire extinguisher. I pulled both electric motors and stored them inside also.

Acouple of suggestions a friend had: pour some R/V Antifreeze down your livewell and baitwell drains and throw some Fabric softener sheets (the ones with lots of fragrance) in your compartments, acouple on the floor to keep the mice out. They can raise hell on your wiring over a long cold winter.

In the Spring the motor will get new Lube and spark plugs and I'll run it in the driveway with the muff on it. FRANK
 

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I store my gas tank empty. There's two schools of thought on that. One is the "old school" process which is to fill it up and that allows for less condensation. The newer train of thought is to store it as empty as possible, and let it condense. (Even though I store mine in a heated garage). The gas will have condensation and will be "old" in the spring, even with StaBil. With less gas, there's less gas to either pump out, or to run through your spring fuel/water separator and then be able to refuel with fresh gas. I store mine low, then throw in a few gallons in the spring, and run it through a new fuel/water separator and then it's out of there and I can use fresh gas from there. I've got a 50 gal tank, so I prefer to filter 5 gallons of fuel, which I can do in a day, than to filter 50 gallon which I do in two weeks. That's my approach to it.

I've got an onboard charger, and I plug it in every two weeks or so. Be sure to unplug any GPS units with an external antenna, as the antenna draws it's own power, and will continue to draw power even with the head unit powered down.

I also take care of any squaks on my boat- I need to fix a rear deck lid, resplice my console GPS main power switch, reattach my left rear non-skid pad, etc..., buff and polish the boat and so on... It's catch up time for everything that gets put on hold over the summer. It's funny, I'm anal about water spots up until about late September, and then I get lax on it. I need to take some CLR to the boat and get the spots off.
 

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Boat is on the hitch, I've a meeting with snook. :)
 

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I keep my batteries in the boat, basic stuff, run the antifrreeze through, plus all the misc pumps and such, fog the cylinders. I try and run as much gas out as possible and then in the spring, try and pump out what's ever in the tanks. Too many problems with ethanol fuel. I frequent a station that doesn't have E-10 but you never know unless you buy a test kit for every fill up. Boat is laid up for too long when it comes to E-10. Nothing on the market that will prevent phase seperation in E-10 including Stabil. Ethanol is a bad bad thing when it comes to marine use. You can never be too careful. Still need to do a couple things to the inside, but I keep mine in a barn during the winter, so I don't have to shrink wrap it.
Always depressing putting it away. Only thing I can hope for now is a deep freeze to walk on water.
 

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Nothing on the market that will prevent phase seperation in E-10 including Stabil. Ethanol is a bad bad thing when it comes to marine use.
Agreed. Too many people think StaBil is a magic wand that will cure their fuel issues. With the advent of ethanol boat storage takes on new considerations, which is largely why I store mine empty. StaBil or not, you'll still have a full tank of junk gas in the spring. I a bare minimum in the tank and then it makes for less work in the spring to get it out of there.
 

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I recommend changing the lower unit gear lube, in the fall....if you keep your boat outside for the winter.

If you wait til spring, and your lower unit seals failed sometime over the summer, the winter freeze can/will split your gear case.

If you drain the gear lube and replace...the case can not freeze from water contamination.
 

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A ton of people forget to blow out there bilge/live well pumps......can save you a lot of headaches...
 
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