Posted: March 1, 2014
I had too many things going on in my life last fall, so I never got around to winterizing my four-stroke Yamaha — but in my defense, I have stabilized all the fuel that has run through it. What do I especially need to check before I take to the water again? The boat is on a lift at the end of my pier.
Prayer is a common denominator in boating. Remove the engine’s cover and look for mud-dauber nests. They love the warmth the cowl provides. If they build a nest near the carb/EFI intake, you might as well save time and throw beach sand into the engine. If they build near the timing belt, the nest will probably shake loose and bump the belt off the cam pulleys, changing the valve position and destroying the engine. Check for any oil or fuel leaks that may have appeared during the winter. Lower the lift until at least the water pickups are safely underwater. Turn the key, and pray it starts. Don’t run it full-throttle until you put fresh fuel in it.