This article is from the Fishing bass FAQ, by Bass Rogue with numerous contributions by others.
- Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)
Bass-boating for years has taught me that there are almost as many
strategies for winterizing as there are for what tackle to buy!
My personal winterizing, in Illinois during some fairly harsh winters
(down to 0 degrees Fahrenheit), consisted of the following, after treating
your gasoline with stabilizer and pumping it through the system with the
-- Run the engine just a *few* seconds to remove all residual water from
within the water pump and casing. To be done with the engine in
vertical position; storage should be the same, vertical.
-- Remove spark plugs and spray cylinders liberally with WD-40. Spray
entire engine with it if you desire - it certainly causes no harm.
-- Put in new spark plugs.
-- Remove inline gas filter and replace with a new one.
-- Leave all hoses and connections intact (removal, IMHO, creates more
problems than any residual gasoline does) after treating gasoline.
-- Check fluid levels and fully recharge all batteries. Spray with
WD-40. (NOTE: for hoses and lines you can spray with any silicone
-- Your boat's trailer should receive extra care too. Before the cold
weather sets in, re-pack all bearings. Check for proper inflation of
tires; you can add a couple of extra pounds. Check for proper
operation of all lights and winches, use light grease on the winch
and spray WD-40 on the wiring.
-- Pay attention to the hitch ball and socket. Apply light coating of
grease and make sure there is no rust.
-- You should have inspected the trailer's rails (usually wooden and can
warp or break) before you put the boat back on the trailer.
-- Put on a good cover to protect the boat's interior and upholstery
(spray upholstery with a protector especially made for it). Make sure
the cover does not cave in during a hard rain. I screwed clamps into
the sides of the interior on my boat to insert lengths of 1/2 inch
vinyl tubing which created several arches so that the cover could not
cave in. If possible, store the boat indoors; at least out of the
I've never had a problem with my boats using these procedures; however,
recommendations by the engine's manufacturer should be followed in most
cases, and I only put this information in here to tell how I do things.