View Full Version : Winter and De-Winterizing your Boat

08-08-07, 12:06 PM
Winterizing your boat for the majority of us is the most dreaded day of the year. Warm weather is gone and so starts the wait for spring temperatures so we can hit the water again next season. Take these protective measures to assure your boat will greet you with a happy face when warm weather welcomes you again in a few months.
Standard Winterization

1) Run a fogging solution through the boat engine while it is running to protect internal parts
2) Spray a protective anti-corrosion film on the external parts of engine

3) Drain the engine block and manifolds and fill the engine with anti-freeze

4) Drain the lower unit gear oil and refill with fresh oil (stern drives only)

5) Grease all external fillings on stern drives

6) Disconnect the battery/batteries and store somewhere warm

7) Cover your boat

Optional Winterization

1) Remove spark plugs and spray oil on cylinders, then replace spark plugs
2) Change engine oil and filter

3) Remove prop and grease prop shaft

4) Add fuel stabilizer to prevent condensation in gas tank (run engine briefly to flush stabilized gas through fuel injectors and carburetor)

5) Winterize fresh water system

6) Remove outdrive and grease U-Joint


Prepare Your Vessel for the Spring and Summer
So, you have got that itching spring fever to uncover the boat and get her wet for the first time this season. There is nothing worse than being gathered at the dock with a boat-load of people and you turn the key and...rrr..rrr..rrr...and nothing. It is likely this will happen if you do not take the time to de-winterize your boat. Do an inspection before setting out on the first trip of the season.
To avoid any embarrassment and frustration, use the following pre-launch checklist to get your boat as ready for the boating season as you are.

Oil Check

If you did not change the engine oil when you put the boat up for the season, now is the time to do it. Make sure you change the oil filter also. Check the oil in the outdrive.
Battery Inspection

Reattach the cables.

Make sure the terminals are not corroded. If so, wipe them clean. If your battery takes water, fill it up. A dry battery is a bad battery. (I learned that the hard way.) With a battery tester, check the volts and amps. Does it have juice? If it is charged and still no luck, it may be time to buy a new battery.
Cooling System

Hopefully you drained the cooling system if you live in a cold winter climate to prevent freezing. If so, fill 'er back up. Rinse out the strainer and check the hoses for cracks.
Fuel System

You also should have topped off the tank with gas to prevent any moisture and condensation forming in the tank and diluting the gas. Change the fuel filter. Make sure the fuel line is attached and not cracked. In the winter these hoses can become dry and brittle.

Take the distributor cap off and clean it out. Corrosion could have occurred during the winter. Make sure all connections are restored.

Tighten the belts if needed. You should only be able to push the belt slightly down. If the belts do not fit snugly in their pulley grooves, they may be worn and in need of replacement. Belts that are not tight will wear faster because they will likely begin to slip. The alternator belt usually wears faster than the others. A sign of a worn belt is black soot somewhere in the vicinity of the pulley.
Other Things That Should Not Be Ignored

Change the spark plugs

Lubricate the engine with WD-40

Check all hoses

Check power steering/cables

Test the bilge pump

Replace the drain plug

Check rudder and shafts

Inspect the prop

Test the horn

Test the VHF radio

Check the trim

Inspect personal flotation devices

Check the fire extinguisher expiration date

Make sure the anchor in on board
*** The above de-winterizing tips are only a list of suggested things to do your boat that I've collected over the years. Each boat may vary as to what needs to be done to de-winterize it. For complete instructions please see your boat's owners manual or consult your boat mechanic.

From: http://waterski.about.com

08-10-07, 08:13 PM
Good read.. Thanks!

10-13-07, 09:22 AM
Great read. This is my first year with a Seadoo Sportster 2002 and with a single Rotax engine (130hp)

I have a quick question about winterizing the boat. I have drained the water, I have pinched the hose and added about 4 litres of anti-freeze. Should I remove the hose pinchers and let some of the anti-freeze flow out, or should I leave the pinchers for the winter?

I am worried that the hose pinchers may damage the hoses, but at the same time I don't wont to damage the engine.

Thanks for your help.

10-16-07, 06:26 PM
You should burp the hoses then put the pinchers back on. If your worried about the hoses, you can find something suitable and plug them, or if possible, raise the hoses above the engine height and the fluid shouldn't flow back out.

10-18-07, 07:02 PM
I am a novice at working on seadoos and am looking for direction on how to winterize a 2000 GTI, 2002 GTX 4-tec and 2005 GTX 4-tec. Does anyone have suggestions on where to find this information? Sites where I can buy the right manuals?

10-19-07, 12:43 PM
Welcome to our forum. We do all we can to help out, but specific procedures like your asking for would be way to hard to layout in a typed message.
We do have the manuals here on this website available to our premium members. One service call to your local dealer could be omitted by reading the manual and doing the work yourself, so in a way, the membership pays for itself.
If you do become a member, when you look into the manual, the section you'll be looking for is under maintenance and sub titled under storage.
Welcome to the Seadoo forum.
If there's anything else I can help you with, then create a thread, I'll be happy to try and give you an answer!
Louis :cheers:

10-20-07, 09:23 AM
Great read. This is my first year with a Seadoo Sportster 2002 and with a single Rotax engine (130hp)

I have a quick question about winterizing the boat. I have drained the water, I have pinched the hose and added about 4 litres of anti-freeze. Should I remove the hose pinchers and let some of the anti-freeze flow out, or should I leave the pinchers for the winter?

I am worried that the hose pinchers may damage the hoses, but at the same time I don't wont to damage the engine.

Thanks for your help.

I have a 04 Sportser LE DI and I am going to attempt to winterize it myself. what hose to you pinch off before pumping the antifreeze through? I bought a pump do I still need to pinch the hose off?

10-20-07, 12:38 PM
The procedure of pinching hoses is described in the manual as a way to keep the coolant in your water jacket during the winter. If you have a pump, you can pump the coolant into the system, but as the water is meant to drain from your doo by gravity, removing and pinching the hoses will keep the coolant in. You don't necessarily have to pinch the hoses as long as they are tied up above the top of the engine. This will ensure the water jacket of the engine is flooded. If you pinch your hoses, then during the fill process, you'll need to un-pinch the hoses to burb the air out.

11-10-07, 02:21 PM
First time winterizing a Seadoo. How do you apply the fogging agent?

11-10-07, 10:55 PM
rbarrinea, welcome to the forum.What year is you seadoo? This is a section of the fogging from the manual. This is from a gti/gtx version. If you want more detailed info you can become a Premium member and get the full version of the manual for you seadoos. Click on the seadoo manual section at the top of the forum for more details.Below is an excet from a gti/ gtx fogging procedure. I hope it helps.
Fogging of the engine is recommended at the end of the season and before any extended storage
provide additional corrosion protection.
To fog the engine intake valves, proceed as follows
- Remove the two bolts that hold the fuel rail on.
- Remove the rail along with the three fuel injec-
- Spray BOMBAEIDJER LUBE lubricant into the
intake ports.
- Crank: engine at wide open throttle to put it in
the drown engine mode. This will prevent fuel
injection and ignition.
- Carefully inspect 0-rings condition before mm-
stalling fuel injectors. Replace 0-rings with new
ones if damaged, Lubercate 0-rings with injec-
ton oil prior to installing.
- Reinstall the injectors.
- Apply Loctite 243 and torque~ the bolts to
10 N'm (89 lbt'in). that hold the fuel rail on,
- Make sure~ there is no leak at injectors when
cranking the engine in the upcoming steps.

IMPORTANT: Never cut the locking ties of coil
connectors. This would allow mixing the wires be-
tween cylinders.
- Remove ignition coils.
CAUTION: Ensure there is no dirt in coil holes
prior to removing the spark plugs. Otherwise,
dirt would fall into cylinders arid will damage
the internal components.
- Remove the spark plugs.
- Alpply BOMBARDiER LUBE lubricant into the
- Reinstall spark plugs ..and ignition coils.
- Reconnect ignition coil connectors.
NOTE: Prior to inserting the ignition coil in its pos-
tion, apply some Molykote 111 grease (P/N 413
707 000) around the seal area that touches the
spark plug Hole After installation, besure the seal
seats properly with the engine top surface.
- To reinstall engine cover push it downward until
it snaps.
- Crank engine several times while keeping throt-
tle fully depressed to distribute lubricant on ex-
haust valves.

12-26-07, 02:58 PM
I have a heated garage that I store my Sea Doo in for the winter? What time of winterization procedures would be recommended for this situation?

Please advise. It is a 2005 GTX 4 TEC


12-26-07, 05:29 PM
Welcome to the forum Conor.......Glad to have you here.
I see you live in Ontario so the weather there is a bit chilly. There are two big reasons to winterize and after I tell you, you should be able to decide for yourself what to do.
First, fogging the engine if it's going to be set up for a period of time is to protect the engine from rust pitting from moisture in the air and to provide a barrier for all the other moving parts for the same reason.
Second, the anti-freeze is to protect the areas of the engine that have pockets of water holding from the last ride or flush.
So, if your keeping it in a garage with a controlled environment where your controlling the humidity and temperature, I don't see much need in going through the entire process of winterization. If your able to start the motor for 5 seconds or so every couple weeks without hooking up the water, then you'll probably be o.k.. With the 4-TEC's closed loop cooling, that shouldn't be much problem. Keep in mind that starting the engine for any prolonged length of time will need the water hose. I'd also leave the engine compartment open to allow any excess water to evaporate into the garage. The biggest problem with rust and pitting in the engine is due to the evaporation of water inside the compartment.
The 4-TEC enigine has it's on engine cooling system and with fuel injection, you won't have to worry about the carbs gumming up. It may be a good idea to add fuel stabilizer if your not able to run the engine.

03-31-08, 10:47 PM
O.K............spring is in the air!....Its time for everyone to start thinking about getting ready for the riding season. In post #1, you will find a nice check list of the things you will need to do to make sure you are ready for the season!.....let's go. I don't want to see anyone stuck on land, watching others have fun!........................:cheers:

04-22-08, 05:25 PM
This is a grreat site!
I am reading as much and as fast as i can to get the answer i need.
This almost hit it! I just bought a 2002 Sportster LE 130, open loop cooling i assume and i i took it for a run to test it. Now i have it home and full of water and its calling for some cold temps for the next few nites especially. -5 to -8 range. I feel i need to put some anti-freeze in to the boat but don't now exactly wear or how? I believe i need to plug the hose on the upper right side of the jet, and do i then pour some antifreeze into the hole on the left side of the boat under the first lid, i mean the one that has the plug screwwed into it?
and should i pour some first before pluggin g the lower hole to pysh the water out?
Thanx in advance for replies!

04-22-08, 08:24 PM
Yes, you can add an anti freeze mix to the hose connector under the hood, be sure the mixture doesn't run out the overflow hose on the transom of the boat. When you see the green blue anti freeze pouring out of the pump, it's full.


04-22-08, 09:14 PM
Yes, you can add an anti freeze mix to the hose connector under the hood, be sure the mixture doesn't run out the overflow hose on the transom of the boat. When you see the green blue anti freeze pouring out of the pump, it's full.


So for this boat is this the proper place to add anti-freeze, it seems i can only find infornation on pwc's that add water to the head or cylinder thru lines, but for the boart the hose inlet seems to be the best spot, or is this just flushing another water way?

04-22-08, 09:41 PM
It is a flush water way. It will be a good way to add antifreeze, as long as it doesn't run out of the over pressure fitting on the rear transom of the boat. When it is full it will mix and keep the water from freezing. It will come out of the exhaust area, and the impeller area also.


04-23-08, 06:43 AM
It is a flush water way. It will be a good way to add antifreeze, as long as it doesn't run out of the over pressure fitting on the rear transom of the boat. When it is full it will mix and keep the water from freezing. It will come out of the exhaust area, and the impeller area also.


Thanx Karl!
I was able to get the boat into a friends garage (heated) last night!
The temps are still cold here this week, -9 last night!
I seen a real nice video on Youtube that shows a more elaborate way of filling the cooling system with anti-freeze, however it was only a pwc!
I'm wondering will this hose inlet under the rear hood is getting the antifreeze in all the right places? or should i be doo something else?

I'm new to the seadoo boating world but am sure i will have a good handle on all these issues with a little time, and help form a few good boaters!
I did not get a owners manual with the boat and i'm having a hard time finding things online, do you have anyinfo to pass on or a good place to look
Any and all info i can get on this craft would be much appreciated!
(re: 2002 Sportster LE 1000cc 130hp)

04-23-08, 01:38 PM
Yota, you might consider becoming a "premium Member" so you can download a owners and repair manual. The library of manuals here covers all the info needed to winterize and repair everything needed to keep you seadoo running or from freezing. You can down load it to read it on line as a pdf or print it off for you own personal and privet use.Click on the "Seadoo Manuals" link at the top of th page.
As far as adding the anti freeze mixture, the hose fitting supplies all the cooling areas of the jet boat with water, so it would only make sense.
For venders, you could try some of the ones listed here on the seadooforum on the main page.


05-26-08, 12:05 PM
Hi I have a 1996 Sea Doo Speedster. I dewinterizing my boat here... to remove the anitfreeze and all from the engines, I heard that using the flush kit can cause issues if you don't do it in the right order. Is it 1) Turn engine on 2) turn water on or is it 1) Turn water on 2) turn engines on? Thanks! Richard.

05-26-08, 12:39 PM
Welcome to the seadoo forum smartbuffboy. Connect the hose and start the seadoo. Turn on the water after it is started. Turn off the water, than shut down the seadoo. This way it won't allow water to back flow into the engine through the exhaust due to no back pressure from the engine not running. The bearings and seals on the impeller jet pump are cooled from being in the water. When it is on the trailer it doesn't have that cooling effect so they will get hot after about 5 minutes.
I hope this helps.


05-26-08, 10:51 PM
Thanks, that does help a lot! I thought there was a reason for turning the water on at a certain time, but didn't know what it was :). Thanks again. Happy Boating!

Nate Surveyor
08-12-08, 07:48 AM
I have a 1998 GS, with the 717 engine. I got it about 2 mos ago, and have it in good shape. I understand how to run fogging solution through the engine, etc.

But, to winterize it, and keep the open cooling system from having trouble when it freezes this winter, can I just tip it up, with the back down, and expect all the water to drain? I have an air compressor. I thought about using compressed air to blow the cooling system dry. Is that a good idea?

I have a manual for it, but it is designed for too many watercraft, and so I don't know what applies to this one. It says to pinch a hose, and add antifreeze.

I thought of opening several of the hoses, and draining it.

How do you winterize this model?


09-04-08, 12:23 PM
Is it possible to simply blow out the water lines/engine block with compressed air as a method of winterizing? Its better for the environment and perhaps has the same effect??


09-05-08, 07:14 PM
It is possible to blow more water out of the system with compressed air or a shop vac. Have to be careful not to overpressurize which introduces possibilities of popped hoses (the little ones that are usually ziptied).

But I couldn't honestly tell if all the water got out - or if it was enough to be considered a non-ice threat.

And no amount of compressed air or tipping of the boat will address the water inside the waterbox/exhaust.

Also if you run salt water, you'd probably want the antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor in the system anyway. I feel less strongly on this for fresh water craft.

09-05-08, 08:29 PM
In all reality ther is anti freeze that is enviromental friendly...ask for it at the auto parts store...
Here is some information on adding the antifreeze. Be sure to use anti freeze made for aluminum block engines. You need to follow the service manual method exactly. The service manual says to pinch hoses, and insert the fluid from the top water line. On some models you needed to pinch 4 hoses. What I did is buy vice-grips with smooth jaws ($5.00 usd each). Fill it with around 2 liters of antifreeze, un pinch one hose, put another 6 oz., wait, then remove the vice-grips. Almost all the fluid will then come out at the bottom. The idea is to mix the antifreeze with whatever water was in the cooling system, so it doesn't freeze.

11-16-08, 03:56 PM
Hi everyone.
I bought a pair of 1997s late in September and managed to get both of them out a few times. Right now they are both in my heated garage and I've started winterizing according to the PDF manual I have for them. But the manual is a bit sketchy and covers so many different models. So I want to make sure it's protected from freezing for sure!

So far, I have flushed and fogged the engines while running, then disconnected the enginge drain hose and the 2 black hoses that run in and out of the top of the engine and tied them all together. Then I raised them above the top of the engine and secured them for storage. Then I poured about half a gallon of the antifreeze into each of the engines, until it started coming out of the tell tail holes.

Is this enough to prevent freezing if I have to put them outside? I'm sure there must be more to it, like draining water from and/or getting antifreeze into the exhaust, etc....

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I'll also be changing the lower gear lube and doing a full inspection per the manual but my main concern right now is making sure I have adequate freeze protection on both of these.

Thanks in advance, this looks to be a great forum!


11-16-08, 07:21 PM
Welcome Doug.......

It sounds like you pretty much covered the bases. I would like to think there is more than one way to skin a cat...., but the only thing I might point out but probably doesn't make a lot of difference, since you got fluid from the tell-tale line, is your not suppose to pull the inlet line from the pump. You are suppose to clamp it, then remove or set up a way to pour antifreeze into the cooling water outlet line. This will flow water backward through your engine and tuned pipe, then back into the head. You can leave the inlet line pinched if you like and just leave the antifreeze in the system, or un-clamp the hose and let it drain.

Your exhaust system should be o.k. but if you'd like to be really sure, you can take the small hose off the tuned pipe at the water injection and squirt a little in it too.......:cheers:

11-16-08, 10:33 PM
That's good to hear, thanks! Now, when you say squirt a little in the tuned pipe.....how much would you say we're talking? I have no idea how much water actually stays laying in any part of the exhaust system on these things.

It gets REALLY cold here so I don't want to take any chances.

Thanks again, much appreciated!:cheers:

10-09-10, 01:03 PM
Whats up SeaDoo Fam I'm new to the sport and now getting ready to Winterize my boat. i have 1995 Speedster twin Rotax with the oil pumps bypassed. Whats the proper way to winterize? Is there a site that has the step by step procedures and materials i'll need to buy. Any Help is appreciated

11-05-10, 05:25 PM
seadoosnipe touched on it briefly above, but I wanted some additional clarity. My 2006 GTX and GTX Wake sit at my lake house that rarely dips below 45 even in the winter (central CA). I am also there at least once every 3 months.

Can I add sta-bil and just fire them up (less than 5 seconds) every time I'm there instead of winterizing? There's a good chance I'll take them for a spin over winter.


06-05-11, 09:40 PM
do you have to do anything other then drain the anti freeze and replace with water or what exactly are they charging 200 dollars for in de winterizing my boat.


08-13-11, 10:35 PM
The thread isn't closed so I thought I would ask.
Is there an updated version of this for older skis IE 1996 GTX

11-02-11, 05:51 AM
Thank you so much as these are some of the very good precaution one needs to take to protect his/her boat for different season throughout the year

11-02-11, 10:25 AM
The thread isn't closed so I thought I would ask.
Is there an updated version of this for older skis IE 1996 GTX

it is all in your manual

11-02-11, 11:27 PM
Closing thread for now. If you have some info that you think should be added to this thread please PM me!