How to dewinter a boat engine

To fully prepare for the fishing season, you need to drain your boat. Here’s how to drain a boat engine with 5 key points. There are other regular boat maintenance tasks such as working on your hull or trailer that should also be covered. When everything is done, you’ll enjoy the sound of hearing your engine sing.

1. Where did you stop last season? If your boat maintenance was thorough last fall, there isn’t much you need to do to prepare for the fishing season. Check all fluids, such as oil and coolant, and top up as needed. Shift your focus elsewhere.

2. Battery. All batteries need to be charged. So pull out your trickle charger and put some juice back into the battery. Install when you’re done.

3. Fresh gas. Your gas tank is likely half full of stabilized gas. So go to the pump and top up with fresh gas. You will burn out the old gasoline on your shakedown cruise and first few rides.

4. Cables and hoses. Rubber breaks down in heat, sunlight and cold. Check the cable strength and integrity. Other rubber parts that need checking are fuel and coolant hoses. They are part of seasonal boat maintenance, but a thorough inspection is also important after defrosting. Rubber breaks down in cold weather. So look for cranks and replace them if necessary.

5. Check the distributor cap as winter humidity will cause metal parts to corrode. Remove, clean and replace if necessary. Also tighten loose spark plugs.

Perform other regular tasks at the same time. Make sure your boat registration is up to date, your safety equipment and lifebuoys are stowed, your trailer lights are functional, and your hubs are filled with grease.

You might like it too

Tom Keer

Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A Guide to Fly Fishing on the New England Coast, was published in January 2011. Visit him at or

Comments are closed.