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Jesse Reynolds - Tips:  Winterizing Your Boat

Saddest time of the year is here... When the boat gets put away for 4 months (for us unfortunate souls that have to put up with freezing temperatures for a quarter of the year). At least there are ducks and deer to chase around. There are about a thousand articles about how to winterize motors but very few about winterizing boats so I thought I'd post a little about what I do every late fall. One side note on winterizing motors that I have never read anywhere is I take my lower unit off and store it some place nice and warm. I figure I need to take it off before next spring to change the water pump anyway. But back to the boat. The three biggies are your water pressure gauge, speedo, and live wells. Try to get as much water out as you can. Open the drain lines and (if you have an Xpress with the quick change pumps) remove the pump cartridges and lay them next to the pump housing, this will help them drain. The water lines going to the speedo and water pressure gauge can be tricky. If you can disconnect them at both ends (motor end and the dash end). As for the rest of the boat, I take everything out. Hey, it’s been a long year and things weren't as organized as they were in the spring so just take it all out. It's nice too because you can take it all inside and have it to play with all winter. It's also the time to reorganize. I have an audition for every bait. If I didn't use it the year before they don't make the cut and they make room the stuff that does work. Hope this helps, now break out the duck calls and ice fishing gear!!!