How to Winterize Sea Ray Boatsby David Curtis
Protecting your investment in a boat is very important. Regular maintenance and winterization must be performed to prevent costly damage to your marine engine. You can find the necessary tools to perform this maintenance at a local marine store. It is a good idea to change all the fluids in the engine. If water is found in any of the lubrication systems, leaving it throughout the winter can be very harmful and will result in rust and corrosion.
Check the sides and the bottom of the boat for any stress cracks and blisters. If any damage is found, consult a professional. Wash all debris off the boat and wax the exterior.
Fill the fuel tank and pour stabilizer into the system. This will reduce the chance of condensation building up over the winter.
Open the engine compartment and check all hoses and wiring. Replace any hoses that feel soft. Repair any frayed wiring. Clean the bilge pump with soap and water. Hook up the water flush system to a garden hose. Remove the spark arrestor from the top of the carburetor. Start the engine and allow it to heat up making sure that the inlet water is flowing through the engine and out the exhaust port. Pour in fogging oil and allow the engine to run, as this allows the oil to be drawn into the cylinders. Shut off the fuel supply and allow the remaining fuel in the carburetor to burn off. Using a socket and wrench, remove the spark plugs. Spray some fogging oil through the spark plug holes. Crank the engine a few times to coat the cylinder walls. Check the plugs for corrosion and burn-out and replace them if needed. Replace the spark arrestor and cover it with a sheet of plastic. Using the electrical tape, seal the plastic around the arrestor and carburetor. This will reduce the chance of moisture getting into the engine.
Using the maintenance manual, find the location of the drain plugs. With an open-end wrench, remove the drain plugs and allow the water to drain completely out of the engine. Make sure the bow of the boat is higher than the stern to ensure all the water drains properly. Replace the drain plugs.
Remove the oil dipstick. Screw on the input end of the oil pump and pump out engine oil into a container. Using the oil filter wrench, remove the oil filter and replace with a new unit. Disconnect the oil pump and place a funnel in the opening. Pour new oil into the system, being careful not to overfill. Replace the dipstick.
Place a container under the stern drive. Using a large flat screwdriver, remove the top vent screw. Remove the lower screw and allow the oil in the foot to drain completely. If this has a milky color, it indicates water has entered the system. Consult a marine mechanic to have this problem corrected. Using a marine oil pump connected to the new container of lubricant, place in the lower drain hole and pump new oil until it flows out the upper vent hole. Replace the vent screw while holding in the pump. Remove the pump and replace the lower fill screw.
Remove the nut on the propeller and remove. Check the condition of it along with the drive splines. Lubricate the splines with gear lube and replace the propeller.
Drain fresh water systems and heads if equipped. Disconnect the battery and remove it. Check the battery monthly and recharge if needed.
Things You'll Need
- Fresh water flush coupler
- Socket set
- Open-end wrench set
- Oil filter wrench
- Maintenance manual
- Engine oil pump
- Lower unit oil pump
- Fogging oil
- Engine oil and filter
- Lower unit oil
- Gear lube
- Spark plugs
- Sheet of plastic
- Electrical tape
- Fuel stabilizer