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There is a chill in the air, the lake temperature is dropping and thoughts are shifting to winter activities.  Now is the time to think about winterizing your boat or jet ski.  Manufacturers recommend that your prepare you boat for the winter months to prevent water from freezing inside your engine and causing major damage.  Also fuel deteriorates over time and can cause components to become clogged.  It can be difficult to find good information about winterization and even harder to find the parts required for your engine.  If you are planning to service your engine this year, this checklist will help you prepare and perform an annual servicing and/or winterization of your boat or jet ski.  It is always best to follow the service manual for your particular engine, but this checklist can help you to get a general idea of what should be done.

 

Winterization and Annual Servicing Checklist

 

Outboard Engine (Carbureted)

 

  • Check engine compression.
  • Check oil in lower unit.
    • If milky in color – Drain oil and perform pressure & vacuum tests on lower unit.  If tests fail - replace lower unit seals & other damaged parts, then retest.
    • If oil looks ok – Drain and replace oil.
  • Remove propeller and check to make sure no fishing line or debris is wrapped around the propeller shaft.  Apply propeller grease to shaft and reinstall the propeller.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to fuel.
  • Run engine long enough to ensure that the fuel with stabilizer has run through engine.
  • Spray fogging oil into the throat of all carburetors until engine cuts out.  If you cannot get the engine to cut off, you may have to turn the engine off manually.
  • Remove spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each of the cylinders.  Turn engine over by hand a couple of times to spread oil in cylinders.  Reinstall spark plugs.
  • For 4-stroke motors – Change engine oil & filter.
  • Place engine in a vertical position so that water does not stand in the lower unit.
  • Remove battery cables.  Clean connections on both the cables and battery.  Store battery in a warm environment.
  • Replace/clean fuel filter.
  • Grease all grease fittings on motor.

 

In the Spring

  • Run the engine one time to burn off any fogging oil in the cylinders, and then install new spark plugs.

 

Outboard Engine (Fuel Injected/Direct Injection)

 

  • Follow the same procedures as for a carbureted outboard engine, but you may not be required to spray fogging oil in the engine.  This may clog the injectors.

 

Inboard or Inboard/Outboard Engine (Carbureted)

 

  • Check engine compression.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to fuel.
  • Run engine long enough to ensure that the fuel with stabilizer has run through engine.
  • Spray fogging oil into the throat of carburetor until engine cuts out.  If you cannot get the engine to cut off, you may have to turn the engine off manually.
  • Remove spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each of the cylinders.  Turn engine over by hand a couple of times to spread oil in cylinders.  Install new spark plugs.
  • Change engine oil and filter.
  • Remove water hoses from thermostat, water pumps, exhaust manifolds, shower system, etc to drain out all water.
  • Remove drain plugs on engine and exhaust manifolds to drain water from engine.
  • Add marine antifreeze to engine block and manifolds.
  • Reinstall drain plugs on engine and exhaust manifolds.
  • Remove water pump impeller.
  • Loosen alternator in order to relieve tension on drive belt.
  • Remove battery cables.  Clean connections on both the cables and battery.  Store battery in a warm environment.
  • Grease all grease fittings.
  • For Inboards
    • Change transmission oil.
  • For Inboard/Outboards
    • Check lower unit oil.
      • If milky in color – Drain oil and perform pressure & vacuum tests on lower unit.  If tests fail - replace seals & other damaged parts, then retest.
      • If oil looks ok – Drain and replace oil.
    • Remove propeller and check to make sure no fishing line or debris is wrapped around the propeller shaft.  Apply propeller grease to shaft and reinstall the propeller.
    • Trim lower unit all the way down so that water does not stand in the lower unit.

 

In the Spring

  • Reattach all hoses.
  • Tighten alternator and check drive belt tension.
  • Install new water pump impeller.
  • For Inboards – Check drive shaft coupling alignment.
  • Run engine and make sure that no fittings/plugs are leaking water.

 

Inboard or Inboard/Outboard Engine (Fuel Injection/Direct Injection)

 

  • Follow the same procedures as for a carbureted inboard engine, but you may not be required to spray fogging oil in the engine.  This may clog the injectors.

 

Jet Ski Engine (Carbureted)

 

  • Check engine compression.
  • Add fuel stabilizer to fuel.
  • Run engine (in water or on flush attachment) long enough to ensure that the fuel w/ stabilizer has run through engine.
  • Spray fogging oil into the throat of all carburetors until engine cuts out.  If you cannot get the engine to cut off, you may have to turn the engine off manually.
  • Remove spark plugs and spray fogging oil into each of the cylinders.  Turn engine over by hand a couple of times to spread oil in cylinders.  Reinstall spark plugs.
  • For 4-stroke engines – change oil and oil filter.
  • For 2-stroke engines – refill oil reservoir as needed.
  • Remove battery cables.  Clean connections on both the cables and battery.  Store battery in a warm environment.
  • Drain water from engine
  • Add antifreeze to engine cooling system
  • Change fuel filter
  • Grease all grease fittings on motor
    • Check jet pump oil
      • If milky in color – Drain oil and perform pressure & vacuum tests on lower unit.  If tests fail - replace seals & other damaged parts, then retest.
      • If oil looks ok – Drain and replace oil
  • Raise the front of jet ski higher than the rear and remove plug(s) from hull so that water does not collect in the jet ski hull during storage. 

 

In the Spring

  • Run the engine one time to burn off any fogging oil in the cylinders, and then install new spark plugs.
  • Make sure that no fittings/plugs are leaking water.

 

Jet Ski Engine (Fuel Injection/Direct Injection)

 

  • Follow the same procedures as for a carbureted jet ski engine, but you may not be required to spray fogging oil in the engine.  This may clog the injectors.

 

Boat Preparation

  • Wash/Wax boat after last use in the fall.
  • Apply vinyl protectant to vinyl seats and rubber on boat
  • Allow the boat to dry out and then cover with a breathable boat cover.
  • Close off any holes or exhaust ports where animals may hide during storage.
  • Apply protectant to all electrical connections.

 

Trailer Preparation

  • Repack wheel bearings with marine wheel bearing grease
  • Check all lights and wiring – repair/replace as needed
  • Check tire tread and pressure – replace as needed

 

*This has been created as a helpful guide.  Georgia Watersports is in no way responsible for the accuracy of this guide for your particular motor.  It is always best to refer to your engine’s service manual for exact instructions.  Georgia Watersports is located at 2590 Eatonton Highway (Hwy 129), between Gray and Eatonton.  Their trained service staff can help you with all of your service and parts needs.  They can be contacted at 478-986-9841, 706-473-6956, or online at GeorgiaWatersports.com.


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