Winterizing your Crestliner boat is an important step to take before a hard freeze sets in and northern angling transitions into ice-fishing. So, before we even thought about digging out the ice auger and the skimmer, we huddled with Crestliner Pro Adam Gamble. He runs a Crestliner Vision 1700, and we asked him for his top tips when it comes to transitioning his boat and gear into the winter season.
Late Season Performance
“If you’re the type of angler who uses your outboard late into the fall season and even up until ice up and below freezing temperatures, it’s worth considering a few items,” he says. “For two-stroke outboards, look at adding a fuel stabilizer or octane booster to improve cold weather starts. If you’re running a four-stroke outboard you should change to a more viscous engine oil, and preferably synthetic. Most manufacturers recommend 25W-40 above 40-degrees, and below this, swap your oil for a synthetic 0W-40. This will facilitate better lubrication of moving parts and easier start-ups on those icy cold days.”
End of Season Storage
“When the time comes to put your boat away for the year, consider doing your outboard winterization process by yourself,” says Gamble. “This will allow you to become more familiar with your propulsion system and negate any issues that may arise during your next season. There’s a great collection of in-depth DIY videos online for a variety of outboards, inboards, and stern drives, and a quick trip to the parts store for some oil and filters will save you a lot of cash. You also get the satisfaction of doing the work yourself. A few basics include draining all water, changing engine oil and filter and lower unit oil, doing basic propellor maintenance, grease bushings, and checking sacrificial anodes.”
Gamble notes that at the end of the season, most people simply park their boat and do not think about their fuel system. But this can lead to several issues in the spring. “For portable fuel tanks on outboards, add a fuel stabilizer such as Sea Foam to the remaining fuel,” he says, “and run this through your outboard for several minutes before storing your boat. In the spring, dispose of the unused fuel in the tank appropriately, refill with fresh high-octane gasoline, and your engine will fire right up. For integrated fuel tanks on outboards, inboards, and stern drives, when you are done using your boat for the season, fill your tank entirely full with high-octane fuel and add a fuel stabilizer. Again, run this for a few moments so the fresh fuel can make its way through the entire fuel system. By ensuring your tank is full of fuel and not air, you eliminate room for condensation to build in your fuel tank.”
Check out Boat Winterization Tips to learn a few added tricks for the best winterizing results. And we know it’s tough but try not to be too depressed that the boating season is over — ice-out will be here before you know it, and you’ll soon be swinging walleye over the gunwales of your boat once again.