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Winterization Woes

It's about that time of year again! I'm sitting in my office with the doors and windows open and it's early October. That never seems to happen in Northeast Indiana, but it is a welcome feeling. We're getting that last breath of summer in, albeit without as much sunshine. Regardless of the weather, it's time to start thinking about winterizing your boat.

A lot of people think that winterization is only for the inboards and I/Os, but that's not entirely true. You should certainly winterize all of your engines that you plan to store until spring. However, for this post, I'm going to be primarily addressing the outboard owners.


Fogging your engine is a crucial part of making it last. Using fogging oil helps coat the inside of your engine to help prevent any seizing come spring time. You might think "I have a 2-stroke and it gets the oil in it while it's running". That's certainly true but 2-stroke injection oil burns off during the combustion process leaving miniscule amounts while sitting for extended periods.

"Ok, well I have a 4-stroke and the oil sits in the engine all the time." Also true. But 4-stroke oil is heavy, and like all things on Earth, it's effected by gravity. So while you might think you're full to the brim of engine oil that's keeping your cylinders lubed up, you're actually not. That oil is slowly working its way down to the bottom of your crankcase. It's very important to fog your engine, especially if you're expecting it to last a long time.

Fuel Stabilization

What's that? You're using non-ethanol marine fuel only so why do you have to stabilize? Well, I'm proud of you for using the gas you should be using. You'd be surprised how many don't. Even if you are using non-ethanol fuel, do you know the shelf-life of it? If you do, great. If you don't, great. Stabilize your fuel!

The reason we say to stabilize your fuel regardless is because you never know what's going to happen. Something could come up next year, and you never even use your boat. While that is a bummer, it's not as uncommon as you might think. Now the gas you got last July is over a year old. Let's say the shelf-life of the gas you got is 2 years. That means it only has a few months left before it's junk. One thing I know for sure is that no gasoline in the world watches the calendar