Cold weather with outboards?

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Cold weather with outboards?

Postby PAwaterfowldominator » Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:35 am

This is my first year with a duck boat. I've owned boats my whole life but have never ran them past september. Up here in the Northwest, I've always had my boats winterized by October.

My concerns are running my outboard in freezing temps and then towing it home in freezing temps after use. Please give me some tips on what you guys do to prevent damage to your outboards in colder temps.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Smith » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:24 am

I don't do anything. It has never been a problem. If the motor is standing upright when it is shut off, all the water drains down out of it right away.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Sandor27 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:26 am

I've been told to keep the motor leg in the water if you are hunting while below freezing, to keep the impeller from freezing. A trimmed up motor does not drain 100% and you risk freezing and possible housing cracking.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby mauserfan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:20 am

Sandor27 pretty much said it. Have hunted only above the 48th parallel and with many mornings at 0 or below. Kept motor in the water and all that was needed was a good warm up. One morning was -24 and had to break ice most of the 14 miles back to mainland. Also, if hunting daytime temps are cold you need to keep motor down as well. If mixing gas you'll need to richen it up a little as well. I keep Seafoam in the tank as well. Just think of every move twice before doing it and be safe. mauser :wink:
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby gearhead80 » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:37 am

If it's around freezing temps, I start mine after I pull the boat out and let it run for a couple seconds to run the water out of the block and lower unit to keep a large amount from freezing and breaking something.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby feet down nebraska » Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:28 pm

Never had a problem the engine heat prevents freeze up always try to leave the motor locked down. do your basic maintenance steps like your winterizing change lower unit oil, spark plugs and you should be fine
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Major Woods » Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:12 pm

Sandor27 wrote:I've been told to keep the motor leg in the water if you are hunting while below freezing, to keep the impeller from freezing. A trimmed up motor does not drain 100% and you risk freezing and possible housing cracking.


Yup...
Been out in temps as low as -9 without any issues at all, I do add SeaFoam on those days when I know it's going to be single digits or below.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby vacuum6 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:15 am

if the engine is a four stroke you will need to run a synthetic blend oil in the crank case. reg oil is too thick. your low oil alarm will keep beeping with reg oil. real annoying sound at dark thirty and 10 degrees.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Idaho Savage » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:42 pm

I can tell you this: I have a 1988 Yamaha 30 pull-start on my boat. Nothing fancy, just your average motor. But it has NEVER failed to start or ever left me stranded and I've seen my friend's electric start, fancy new Mercs, Hondas and Johnsons all fail multiple times when the temps get in the single digits.

When I drop my boat in the water in said temps, I let it sit for a few minutes, giving it time to thaw in the water, especially the impeller. Then I gently but firmly pull the cord, freeing it up in the first stroke. Once it's free, I can pull at will and it'll always start within five pulls.

I do believe there's something to be said for pull-starts. They're like old truck motors--simple and a lot less to go wrong.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby PnR_Productions » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:26 pm

If it's real cold out sometimes after i load the boat up to leave i'll start it for a few seconds and let it blow out all the water and then shut it off. Haven't had any problems with motors freezing up yet!
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Mugzwump » Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:47 pm

I was just out last week in 5 degree weather. It was icing over pretty quick, and the wind was brutal. My motor was icing bad. I was pulling it out of the water and running it dry before dropping it back in the water while we hunted. Almost everytime, the cooling outlet tube would freeze ( the pee hole), and at one time it was frozen somewhere else inside. I ran it a bit, no circulation, turned it off, ran it a bit again, off and on till finally it pissed STEAM. At that point I thought it was done for, and so we're we... but after five minutes I fired it back up and it worked fine. Not sure where the blockage was... or how to avoid this happening again? It was pretty rough weather and without a motor we would have probably spent the night out there.

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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby ILwaterfowler15 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:43 pm

Mugzwump wrote:I was just out last week in 5 degree weather. It was icing over pretty quick, and the wind was brutal. My motor was icing bad. I was pulling it out of the water and running it dry before dropping it back in the water while we hunted. Almost everytime, the cooling outlet tube would freeze ( the pee hole), and at one time it was frozen somewhere else inside. I ran it a bit, no circulation, turned it off, ran it a bit again, off and on till finally it pissed STEAM. At that point I thought it was done for, and so we're we... but after five minutes I fired it back up and it worked fine. Not sure where the blockage was... or how to avoid this happening again? It was pretty rough weather and without a motor we would have probably spent the night out there.

Mugz.


Your line will freeze up, but you don't need to worry about it. Just run your motor and the heat will eventually thaw out the line. Mine is usually froze when we get to the lake, especially if we went the day before and it will re-freeze if temps during the hunt don't get above freezing. On average mine takes 5 to 10 min. to thaw out and start flowing again.

I'll agree with what others have posted as well. Leave the motor down in the water once you get to your spot and always let it drain out in the down position prior to trailering home. I usually let it drain for 10 min. or so before hooking up the transom saver.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Mugzwump » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:36 pm

ILwaterfowler15 wrote:
Mugzwump wrote:I was just out last week in 5 degree weather. It was icing over pretty quick, and the wind was brutal. My motor was icing bad. I was pulling it out of the water and running it dry before dropping it back in the water while we hunted. Almost everytime, the cooling outlet tube would freeze ( the pee hole), and at one time it was frozen somewhere else inside. I ran it a bit, no circulation, turned it off, ran it a bit again, off and on till finally it pissed STEAM. At that point I thought it was done for, and so we're we... but after five minutes I fired it back up and it worked fine. Not sure where the blockage was... or how to avoid this happening again? It was pretty rough weather and without a motor we would have probably spent the night out there.

Mugz.


Your line will freeze up, but you don't need to worry about it. Just run your motor and the heat will eventually thaw out the line. Mine is usually froze when we get to the lake, especially if we went the day before and it will re-freeze if temps during the hunt don't get above freezing. On average mine takes 5 to 10 min. to thaw out and start flowing again.

I'll agree with what others have posted as well. Leave the motor down in the water once you get to your spot and always let it drain out in the down position prior to trailering home. I usually let it drain for 10 min. or so before hooking up the transom saver.


What about it spewing steam? That can't be good. Is that common when running them with frozen lines?

This is the first time I've ever had any trouble with it, I'm usually in small creeks by the time it gets cold enough to ice up that fast... so I don't really know here.

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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:56 pm

I wouldn't worry about it. Idk if you have seen any 4 stroke run but it looks like a diesel engine that is cold, white steam pours out as long as it is running. no biggy. Your line will almost always freeze, I usually will carry a piece of weed whacker cord with me if its really bad but usually when its that cold your engine doesn't need to pee for a little while.

You can usually see water start spitting out of the exhaust as well as beginning to drip out of the pee hole when it begins to thaw. As long as you keep your lower unit in the water while hunting you are golden. when you get back to the ramp tilt it all the way down and let it drain until it is done. I then will fire it up for a second or two to blow the lines. never had a problem other than this weekend when we were out my engine was very slow to tilt down after we had been hunting, when I climb back there all my pistions had about 1/2 inch or more ice one and between them. Once I knocked that off we were good to go.
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Re: Cold weather with outboards?

Postby Nelliboy2 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:01 pm

Idaho Savage wrote:I can tell you this: I have a 1988 Yamaha 30 pull-start on my boat. Nothing fancy, just your average motor. But it has NEVER failed to start or ever left me stranded and I've seen my friend's electric start, fancy new Mercs, Hondas and Johnsons all fail multiple times when the temps get in the single digits.

When I drop my boat in the water in said temps, I let it sit for a few minutes, giving it time to thaw in the water, especially the impeller. Then I gently but firmly pull the cord, freeing it up in the first stroke. Once it's free, I can pull at will and it'll always start within five pulls.

I do believe there's something to be said for pull-starts. They're like old truck motors--simple and a lot less to go wrong.

You just summed up my experience with every Yamaha outboard I have ever owned......and you also know why I will never own anything except yamahas.

I had an 03 90hp 2 stroke, it didn't care how cold it was she would start first crank. 3500 hours later and my lower unit wearing out I bought a 115hp 4 stroke. Exact same performance in the cold, we bought a used boat that had an 07 merc on it. below 50 degrees you would drain half your battery supply trying to get it to start and stay on. POS, kept it for a month and bought a 50 hp Yamaha tiller and haven't looked back.
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