Top Winterizing Tips Get your boat ready for hibernation with these winterizing tips.


“Fogging” means applying lubricating oil to cylinders and pistons while the engine is running. This can be sprayed in via carburetors or air intakes, or a special mixture can be supplied to the engine via a portable tank connected to the fuel line.

Think Ahead

Add fuel stabilizer in the “winterize dosage” during your last fuel-up prior to storage. This way the engine ingests stabilized fuel, and by fueling up after adding the stabilizer, the chemicals mix better in the tank. Stabilizing fuel properly is more important than ever with the presence of E10 fuel.


Time your oil change for after you have fogged the engine. This way the engine is hot and the oil will flow nicely. Old oil can become acidic during the winter. Make sure you change the filter along with the oil.

Chill Down

Use only biodegradable antifreeze to pour through the cooling system to flush out all water, and prevent any chance of freezing in winter.

Top Winterizing Tips Replace

This aluminum sterndrive has begun to corrode from galvanic action. The “hoary” condition of the sacrificial anodes would have been an early giveaway, but at least it was caught during a proper winterization in which the “zincs” (these are actually magnesium) were replaced. The source of the corrosion must be eliminated.


Engine drain plugs must be removed and stored in a place where you won’t forget them next spring. Also, swirling a pipe cleaner inside the ports where the plugs were removed will help ensure that all water has drained.


Everybody kisses ground once in a while. It’s important to repaint scuffed aluminum like outboard gear cases and sterndrives. Sand the area with 150-grit paper, wipe clean with white vinegar, and then immediately apply the first of several coats of zinc primer. Then overcoat with colored paint to match.


Regardless of type, degrease your engine and then spray the entire block, linkages and wiring with silicone or other lubricant that dries to a waxy film. This prevents corrosion and allows you to spot loose fasteners, chafed wires and other maladies.

Top Winterizing Tips Fill

This sterndrive has a remote fluid reservoir for the gear case and upper drive. Here, it’s being topped off after the drive was drained and refilled with fresh fluid.

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Source:; John Tiger; October 14, 2013.