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freezing temperatures and outboard use.

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  • freezing temperatures and outboard use.

    Hey guys:
    Can an outboard powered boat be left in h2o all winter when air temps are below freezing. I live on Lake Coeur D'Alene the H2O does not freeze and I'd like to use boat in winter can it be done or does h2o have to be purged after each use?

  • #2
    You need to worry about water sitting in the lower unit exhaust area in case drainholes are clogged.If water freezes solid ,the case may rupture similar to a steel fence post that has filled from rain.
    Tilting it down fully will drain it and keep rain from filling the exhaust area in front of prop.Also probe the drains or use a drill bit to open them up if blocked.
    Spiders or bugs and pine needles are commonly removed items from lower units,even mice can make a home if a hole is present.
    Rest of motor will rarely see damage from freezing.
    Seen the Yamahas and Hondas do this from time to time,usually not noticed until a water pump is being done.You`d see a crack/bulge near rear bearing carrier or water inlet holes.Salt in the crack then makes it grow later in life.
    Stay warm,
    unk.year 10` Mahogeny "DragonFly"racer
    15` SAFE boat w/120 hp Johnson
    SeaRay 175BR
    Hi-Laker lapline
    14` Trailorboat


    • #3
      Burrr it's cold

      Thanks Tim I'll check those drain holes, never thought of that.


      • #4
        I often run my Johnson 40 in the cold winters for crabbing. When not in use, I flush as normal, and then let the water drain out. Then tilt up to get the leftovers to move about, then back down. I'll get more drainage at that point. This is, of course, on the trailer when it is in my yard (or lately in my garage).

        And it probably goes without saying, but I'm giong to say it anyway , make sure you have good fresh gear oil in the lower unit.
        John Forsythe

        '59 Bellboy 404 - Pretty Girl
        Past Affairs:
        '61 Marathon - Jammie Dodger


        • #5
          Cold water operation

          If the lake doesn't freeze, I'd probably leave the lower unit in the water.

          We used to run the engine briefly out of the water to purge the water pump. If the pump has some residual water in it and it freezes, it will damage the impeller if you crank or start it with ice in the pump....

          My two cents.....
          Captain Tim (McSkagit) Jones 1959 Skagit 31 Saratogan

          Pay it forward.......take a kid for a boat ride


          • #6
            Thanks guys

            thanks for all the helpful tips, they all make sense.


            • #7
              When you shut those motors down all the water in the power head driains down into the leg to water level. Now as long as it don't get down to below 0 there should be not problems leaving it in the water.
              Mike aka the pirate
              Red sails at night a sailors delight Red sails in the morn sailors be warned