1. Fill your gas tank(s) and add gas stabilizer. (Follow the
instructions on the stabilizer bottle as far as quantity. If in doubt,
more is better.) **Most manufacturers will advise
to store the tanks full to ensure that there's no condensation. Some of
the smaller motors can have their fuel lines disconnected and run dry;
this doesn't eliminate all gas from the motor and can lead to gummed up
carbs, etc., come Spring. Having stabilized gas throughout the motor
ensures that gaskets don't dry out and there's no chance of the gas
turning to varnish.
2. Run the motor for 10-15 minutes to ensure that stabilized gas is in
all of the lines, carbs, etc. (I take mine for a run after stabilizing the gas;
I want to make sure that I've used up all of the un-stabilized gas that
was in the fuel line, etc., and that only stabilized gas is in the
3. Before shutting the motor off, you will want to fog the engine by
spraying a fogging oil (storage seal) into all of the carbs (or the EFI
system). **Check your owner's manual for
instructions on how to fog your particular engine. (Some
of the newer engines are not to be fogged.)
Follow the instructions on the can; you will want to have the
motor smoking "big time", this ensures that you have the
engine properly fogged. **Fogging oil puts a
coating of oil on all of the cylinder walls and throughout the engine;
it prevents rust from occuring during the winter storage months.
4. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each of the plug
holes. (About a 3-4 second spray in each.) Replace the spark plugs and disconnect
your kill switch. Turn the motor over 3-4 times to distribute the
oil into the cylinders. **Not everyone does
this step, but I figure that it's extra insurance that the entire engine
is well fogged. After the first run in the Spring you might want to
consider putting in new spark plugs, don't put in new ones in the Fall,
they will just get "messed up" with the fogging oil.
5. Remove the prop and check for fishing line behind it. Grease the
shaft and replace the prop.
**If you have any nicks or dings on the prop you
might want to have it repaired during the winter when the "prop
guys" aren't too busy, rather than waiting until Spring.
6. Change the lower unit lube, (or at least check to ensure that there
is no water present in the oil to ensure that it can't freeze during the
winter. If there's water in the oil, it will be at the bottom and will
come out first, or the lube will be a milky color which indicates water
7. Grease all fittings and lubricate all points shown in your
8. Fill the oil tank(s) to the top to prevent condensation during the
9. Remove all batteries and store them inside. Charge them about every 6
weeks or so to keep them "topped up". **You
might want take the wires from each battery and put a cable tie (or
piece of wire) through them to keep them in "sets" so that you
know which ones go where come Spring. Label them as well, if need be.
10. Check to ensure that you don't have any water in your livewells,
bilge pumps, etc. If in doubt
you might want to add some RV antifreeze to them.
11. To make sure that the water in
your water pressure line doesn't freeze during the winter and damage
your gauge, you might want to disconnect the line and drain the water
You could also buy a 'T' fitting tap at a pet store/aquarium store and
splice that into the line so that you can just open the valve to drain
out water. Don't forget to close it!
12. Check your trailer tires to ensure that they are at the maximum tire
pressure (probably 50#). Depending on where you
store your trailer you might want to consider putting the trailer on
blocks to keep it from sitting on the tires all winter.
13. Check the trailer hubs to see if they need grease added.
14. You might want to prop all of your compartments open slightly
with pieces of styrofoam (or something similar), to ensure that air can
circulate everywhere to prevent any condensation.
15. Remove basically everything from the boat.
16. Make sure that you store your motor in the "down" position
to ensure that all water has drained out.
17. Wash the boat,and put a coat of wax on it (and the motor), if
it needs it.
That's it..........you're done!!
Al Shields firstname.lastname@example.org