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Boat Winterizing and Engine Flush
Do It Yourself - Why Not?
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  • 1-1/16” propeller wrench
  • needle nose pliers (for propeller cotter pin)
  • garden/water hose attachment
  • winterizing kit (I built one, see this link)
  • adjustable wrench/pliers
  • fogging oil
  • Stabil/ethanol fuel treatment
  • 5-6 gallons of antifreeze (I used –50C non-toxic/pink antifreeze)
  • paper towels & rugs
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    Raise the bow of the boat so that any remaining water drains out easily

    Remove Spark Arrestor from throttle body


    Hook up muffs/flusher to lower leg water intake ports and attach a garden hose to the water line

    • Add Stabil Ethanol fuel treatment to fuel (it is recommended that gas in tank is almost full to avoid water condensation build up during long period of storage; I usually add Stabil before boat transport to allow it to mix with the fuel while in transport)
    • Turn on water line
    • Start the engine and let it come up to operating temp so that the thermostat is open (depending on outside temperature, it may take about 10-30 mins)
    • Shut down the engine when operating temperature is reached
    • Turn off the water line
    • Replace the water line with the Winterizing Kit (filled with about 5-6gallons of antifreeze, see picture)
    • Turn on the Winterizing Kit
    • Restart the engine (this should start sucking up the antifreeze). You will notice that raw water (clear) will start coming out and will gradually change in color to pink (now with antifreeze)
    • When the antifreeze is about to be used up (approximately 3/4 down), start spraying fogging oil down the throttle body throat until the engine stalls
    • Shut down the engine.
    • Reinstall the Spark Arrester on throttle body
    • Remove the propeller cotter pin and proceed to remove the propeller with wrench (Chaparral/Volvo Penta SX uses 1-1/16”)
    • Remove the drain plugs and drain out water from inside of the boat (not the engine; we are already done with that)
    • If applicable, proceed to change the gear oil of the boat's drive unit (recommended every 100 hours as per scheduled maintenance)
      see "DIY - Boat Gear Lube Change-Maintenance" link for procedure
    • Apply a good waterproof grease to prop splines and reinstall prop (to avoid theft, I did not reinstall my prop; instead I stored it separate)
    • Trim the drive up and pour a small amount of antifreeze in center of props, install a plastic garbage bag around lower leg to stop any water intrusion into exhaust hub. You do not want this part to freeze and crack either!
    • Engine should now be cool enough to drain engine oil and change filter (if applicable as per regular scheduled maintenance)
    • Spray all cables and linkages with a good lube
    • Clean up boat with corrosion inhibitors; clean up all vinyls with protectant
    • Store boat with the  trim down (recommended to avoid sagging on any rubber parts)
    • Store the boat with bow up and the drive down
    • Disconnect the battery and store in a warm place


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