What do you do for Winterization?

Jim_R

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We're not quite there yet in the upper Midwest, but it is past Labor Day, so along with putting away the white pants it's time to consider end of season preparations for the pontoon. What do you do for Winterization? And please, not too much gloating from you folks who live too close to the equator.
 

cwag911

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Mine just sits on the lift in case we get a nice day during winter. B) The oil and filter gets changed along with the gearcase oil towards the end of october mid november. I also keep the fuel tank full and add stabil and startron. In colder climates you might want to fog the motor but I don't think it's necessary. You might want to look at your engine manual.
 

AWK

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Mine just sits on the lift in case we get a nice day during winter. B) The oil and filter gets changed along with the gearcase oil towards the end of october mid november. I also keep the fuel tank full and add stabil and startron. In colder climates you might want to fog the motor but I don't think it's necessary. You might want to look at your engine manual.
Gloating in the first sentence! This will be my first year at this so I have gotten all my oils and lubes purchased and ready to go. I saw nothing in my Engine manual of fogging, so I will for go that. I store mine in a barn with several other boats. I will put some mothballs in a paper towel and plane inside the engine cover and maybe under the seats. Not to worried about the smell it may make in the engine, that should go away. I have already add the Stabil to the gas and will run that through this weekend if the weather holds out. I will also clean the toons. Thinking that I will take all extra jackets and stuff like that out from under the seats and take in into my basement for the winter.

AWK
 

Jim_R

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Gloating in the first sentence! This will be my first year at this so I have gotten all my oils and lubes purchased and ready to go. I saw nothing in my Engine manual of fogging, so I will for go that. I store mine in a barn with several other boats. I will put some mothballs in a paper towel and plane inside the engine cover and maybe under the seats. Not to worried about the smell it may make in the engine, that should go away. I have already add the Stabil to the gas and will run that through this weekend if the weather holds out. I will also clean the toons. Thinking that I will take all extra jackets and stuff like that out from under the seats and take in into my basement for the winter.

AWK
Haven't done it myself, but I'm told that many use fabric softner sheets rather than mothballs to keep away critters. Supposedly they do the same job without the odor. Two more questions, battery on a charger or not, and since yours will be indoors playpen cover on or not?
 

AWK

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Haven't done it myself, but I'm told that many use fabric softner sheets rather than mothballs to keep away critters. Supposedly they do the same job without the odor. Two more questions, battery on a charger or not, and since yours will be indoors playpen cover on or not?
Never heard about the fabric softners. That would be GREAT! I think I will do some Googling on that one now! I will remove the battery and take it home with me and I plan on having the playpen cover installed. Note, this is my first Pontoon and first boat since 1998! So I am reading the manuals and following them as close as I can.

AWK
 

cwag911

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I forgot about the battery and I use a battery tender with the battery in the boat. I just started using it since the battery is 6 years old. And yes, the dryer sheets work. I stuff them in the ends of the bimini and by the stern light to keep the mud daubers out and also lay some on the seats. When you uncover the boat it's "springtime fresh". B) It's also a good time to go through the boat and see what you've used and what you haven't and make room for other things. Sort of spring cleaning in the fall.
 
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AWK

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I wouldn't take the battery out if I lived down there in the warm weather. I bet you have done a Christmas eve cruise! The only Pontoon you can use in Mich during the winter is this one

My"]My link

AWK
 
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cwag911

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I wouldn't take the battery out if I lived down there in the warm weather. I bet you have done a Christmas eve cruise! The only Pontoon you can use in Mich during the winter is this one

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBjlSJf4274"

AWK
I fixed your link.

Yup, we've been out on Christmas and New Years Day. Occasionally we get that nice day in the winter and have the lake to ourselves. That's why we left NJ. And of course the taxes. B)
 
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BigKahuna

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The only thing that I do that nobody else mentioned is to use 3 containers of Damp Dry. The reason for this is to soak up any moisture that may accumulate under the playpen cover preventing mildew. I take 3 tin foil pans and put the Damp Dry container in the middle. I then fill the rest of the pan w/mothballs and put one pan on the floor in front of the boat. The 2nd pan in the back of the boat and the last pan in the I/O engine compartment. I've been doing this for years on both of the boats that we have owned. Don't worry about the mothball smell..........once I take the cover off at the beginning of the season and take the boat to the marina the boat quickly airs out and the smell will dissipate quickly...........
 

Chateau Vinne'

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Boater from Michigan here as well... I just call the dealer and say "come pick it up" :D

I like it that way much better!!! I spent the last 20 years winterizing my I/O myself, getting it shrinked wrapped, hauling it to a storage facitility, etc. Did all the things noted above. In the beginning, I just threw a tarp on it for the winter. However, once I started getting it shrink wrapped I found it stayed a lot cleaner and was less prep time in the spring. So, I found that to be worth the money. When I got the Benny, I priced the difference between buying a trailer, plus my time/effort/cost in doing the winterizing, hauling, storing etc., versus letting the dealer do it and never bought a trailer. I actually pay less getting the "package" than I spent doing everything myself and paying for separate storage. Not to mention the difference in effort between making a phone call and doing all that stuff yourself. In addition, I get more use from the boat this way 'cause I used to pull it out early so I would have somewhat warm days to do all the work myself. Now, I wait until the very last day the marina lets me have it in the water. It's the dealer's issue to work on the boat in the cold weather now , not mine :rolleyes: Life is good!!
 

Wild and Free

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For outboards as mentioned above is change all fluids and filters, fogging is more directed at 2 strokes, I have never fogged a 4 stroke engine. I also change the fuel water seperator filter and empty and clean the fuel strainer on the engine to make sure there is no water to freeze and crack something. I take things a bit further and pour some RV antifreeze into the block through the engine flush port just to make sure the water is flushed out of the nooks and crannies.

We use tons of fabric softener up her in the North country and it does keep the mice away. Another super rodent repellant product that is made here in North Dakota and is all natural and smells pretty good is called"Cab fresh" and it works great too.
 

BulldogsCadillac

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I use bounce sheets (fabric softener sheets) as well, get the big box, store it in a big farm garage as well. Definitely put your cover on, keeps a lot if the dust out, and definitely pull your batteries and put somewhere warm, don't want them to freeze, I use a battery tender every once and a while, don't like leaving it plugged in all the time.

Derrick
 

Wild and Free

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It is a good idea to remove the battery where it gets to sub freezing temps "Just in case it does go dead and freeze and pop" then make sure it has a surface charge, but I do not store it in a warm place, I find that if a battery doesn't hold a charge over the winter in a cold climate it was on the down hill side of its life and was on borrowed time. This is a great battery test.
 

BulldogsCadillac

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It is a good idea to remove the battery where it gets to sub freezing temps "Just in case it does go dead and freeze and pop" then make sure it has a surface charge, but I do not store it in a warm place, I find that if a battery doesn't hold a charge over the winter in a cold climate it was on the down hill side of its life and was on borrowed time. This is a great battery test.
Hehe, I either store them in my basement, or -45 Celsius, no inbetween room, so basement it is! :)

Derrick
 

CcanDo

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What about removing the prop, greasing the shaft (preventing rust/corrosion) and placing a hefty plastic bag up around the lower unit, then, with tape, close the bag top. (rubber bands may dry out and break) Dirt dobbers/wasps like openings like water pickups, exhaust ports and any other opening.

The hull may have corrosion that will continue etching, unless pressure washed. A good coat of wax on other parts will also provide protection. Of course, especially for northerners, what about changing the trailer tire air from summer to winter ? LOL Though, the axle bearings may be serviced while changing that air !
 
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Bamaman

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Down sawth, we don't do much winterization because we're usually on the water until the first of December and back out in March.

But, winterization would usually consist of changing the oil and filter and replacing the lower unit grease. That's a 30 minute job and requires about zero mechanical knowledge.

Putting the battery on a Battery Tender works great if you have power at the boat, but removing the battery and keeping it inside on a battery maintainer will also substantially lengthen its lifespan. If you have a 2 stroke, also change the spark plugs at season's end.

I never winterized my pontoon in any way, and placed no emphasis on maintaining the lower unit. This year, I found my gear case toasted. I should have been having the lower unit periodically pressure and vacuum tested. And to think that my Yamaha 115 hp 2 stroke lasted 26 years.

But it forced me to buy a new Bennington a year earlier than planned. YAAAA!
 

Stormie25RCL

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Down sawth, we don't do much winterization because we're usually on the water until the first of December and back out in March.

But, winterization would usually consist of changing the oil and filter and replacing the lower unit grease. That's a 30 minute job and requires about zero mechanical knowledge.

Putting the battery on a Battery Tender works great if you have power at the boat, but removing the battery and keeping it inside on a battery maintainer will also substantially lengthen its lifespan. If you have a 2 stroke, also change the spark plugs at season's end.

I never winterized my pontoon in any way, and placed no emphasis on maintaining the lower unit. This year, I found my gear case toasted. I should have been having the lower unit periodically pressure and vacuum tested. And to think that my Yamaha 115 hp 2 stroke lasted 26 years.

But it forced me to buy a new Bennington a year earlier than planned. YAAAA!
Bamaman,  I know this is an old entry, but this is my first winter with a pontoon and plan to keep it at the marina all winter(Guntersville).  Would you keep your motor up out of the water or left in?  I'd like to leave the motor in the water to keep from any potential freeze but hate the crud growth around the intake.  Your 2 cents!!
 

cwag911

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If you're leaving the boat in the water and there is a chance that the trmp will go below 30, then leave it down.
 

ssc

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I would never gloat. Heck, it should be down right chilly this Sunday. The high is supposed to be 90. As I have said before, I winterize the boat by tossing a sweatshirt on board. In actuality, we do look forward to taking the boat out around Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is nice to go for a cruise with a bit of chill in the air.

Cheers, Steve
 

Link

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I agree ssc, I am hoping that Bennington comes out with an ice breaker option for the bow as I will need it next month :wacko:
 
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