Lakefront Living – Getting A Boat Ready for Winter

It’s that time once again, there is already a chill in the air! Time to clean up and put away the water toys and get the boat ready for winter!

Winterizing a boat and motor is the most important maintenance a boat owner can perform to help ensure safe boating next spring and summer. Regardless of where your boat is stored when not in use (inside or outside), you will need to protect your boat engine.

Boaters who aren’t comfortable doing their own maintenance, should have all the procedures performed by a qualified marine technician. If you have your boat winterized at a marina, boat dealer or boat repair shop, better make that reservation early to ensure getting in before a freeze hits. It only takes a few hours of below freezing temperatures for the water in the engine to freeze and crack the block. Taking a little time in the fall to get your boat and motor ready for winter means that you can be one of the first boaters out on the water next spring. It also helps ensure you won’t have an expensive repair bill!

If you are handy and want to winterize your boat yourself, you will need a good checklist of what needs to be done for the type of motor you have. Inboard, outboard or I/O. You should check your owner’s manual for procedures that are particular to your own brand of boat, engine and trailer. Below is a typical list for each type of boat.

Stern Drive (I/O)

Add stabilizer, drain cooling system, run on anti-freeze, fog engine, change oil and oil filter, change gear lube, inspect and lube propeller shaft, check and fill the PT system, lube external fittings. Optionally, remove outdrive, check engine alignment, lube U joints and gimbals.


Add stabilizer, check transmission, drain cooling system, run on anti-freeze, change engine oil and filter and fog engine.


Add stabilizer, check and fill PT system, change gear lube, fog engine, check and lube propeller shaft, and lube external fittings.

 Personal Watercraft

Add stabilizer, lube fittings and cables, spray engine with anti-corrosive, fog engine, and check impeller.

Originally published by

Posted by:

Scott Freerksen “The Lake Guy”
Owner/Broker, Realtor®
Lakefront Living Realty, LLC
Office: (508) 377-7167

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