Neal C.

Winterize yourself or have a shop do it?

19 posts in this topic

Hello Folks,

Hopefully I'll have this 210 SSI soon. Is the 5.0 MPI hard to winterize yourself or is it something I'll need to take it in the shop and do? As I'm getting this boat at end of season, I want to try and get some use out of it which means I'll be getting close to cold weather time and don't want to get in a situation where the shop is back logged. Wonder if this is something I can do on my own or not?

Thx

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Neal,

Are you serious or have you been playing some sort of game with all the "what if" posts?

You have asked more questions than many of our ex wives.

However, you may be a great guy from an unknown locale, so my apologies if inappropriately received. It takes about ten minutes to winterized a 5.0 MPI, and this is from a gent short on mechanical talent but well endowed with self confidence.

Good luck to you and your crew. I hope you find the boat that meets your requirements.

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I believe you can find advice and answers to most of your questions using the board's search feature.

The Chap board is loaded with seasoned owners that have chimed in on seemingly every topic imaginable.

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It's too easy to do it yourself than to waste money on a shop. One benefit is it gets you looking and digging around your engine compartment which will teach you about your boat which is ALWAYS a good thing.

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Thanks guys! Sorry to offend those that are not happy with my asking all the questions here, I'll see if I can find a general boating forum out there for newbies.

I did google winterizing a Mercruiser 5.0 MPI and found some good information and youtube videos. It seems more involved that I'm probably ready for, fogging, oil, oil/fuel filters, and anti-freeze. I'll see what the local shop charges or even if someone comes to me to do it and may be cheaper than a dealer to do. Also I heard about shrink wrapping, not sure how many do that and what it costs so I'll investigate once I complete the purchase of this boat, if in fact it passes all checks.

Thanks again.

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No problem asking questions. That's what this forum is for. I am recovering from back surgery, so this gives me something to do.

To answer your question, I let my dealer winterize. Not that I cannot do it myself, but it doesn't cost a lot, keeps me in touch and a preferred customer with the service manager. It is my once a year service (other than every 2nd year impeller change in the spring), and includes oil/filter change for engine and drive. I am still under warranty (one more year to go), so this way there is a record of the boat's service history.

The 5.0 should have a single point drain system, which makes it very easy to "winterize". If you wanted to, you could boat all year long, and simply drain the engine after each use. The big thing is to not let water freeze and crack the block. If the boat will not be used for an extended period of time, then it should be "fogged". Fall is a good time to change oil and filters, to remove any contaminents and water. If any problem shows up, you have the whole winter to get it fixed, when the dealerships are not so busy.

My dealer charges about $280 to winterize, including parts/labor (engine/drive oil/filter and fuel filter). So it costs about $120 more (1 1/2 hrs labor) than doing it myself. Not a big upcharge.

I would let the dealer do it the first year. Ask if you can watch the process. Then next year decide if you want to tackle it yourself.

It will be a very expensive mistake if you miss someting, and it causes your block to crack.

brick

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Neal,

I am sure most everyone is fine with you asking questions. Like Brick said, that is what this forum is for. Just be sure to use the search feature extensively first since most topics have been discussed in depth already.

I am not saying that you have not been using the search feture already, so please do not take it that way. It's just that some of the people who have been on the board for a long time can get frustrated when someone, usually new, posts a question because it is easier than searching for the answer.

I am not new to boating, but I am fairly new to Chaps and cruisers. This forum has been a wealth of information to me.

To answer your initial question, you just need to evaluate your own skill level. Maybe have a shop do it the first time and see if they will let you observe. If not, at least you will know what they performed so you can attempt it next time on your own if you feel like it..

Luckily, I live in the Southwest so I can boat year round and not worry about winterizing.

Good luck with everything!

Mike

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Neal,

I am sure most everyone is fine with you asking questions. Like Brick said, that is what this forum is for. Just be sure to use the search feature extensively first since most topics have been discussed in depth already.

I am not saying that you have not been using the search feture already, so please do not take it that way. It's just that some of the people who have been on the board for a long time can get frustrated when someone, usually new, posts a question because it is easier than searching for the answer.

+1

I'm not offended and didn't mean to imply that I was. I'm finishing my first season with my 220 ssi and this forum is greatly shortening my learning curve. Feel free to ask away on specific items but be aware there's a ton of info on general questions.

Congratulation and welcome if you do end up joining the Chap family. This is one of the more active owner's forum on the web.

fyi, once you do pull the trigger, be prepared to post lots of pics :)

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No problem asking questions. That's what this forum is for. I am recovering from back surgery, so this gives me something to do.

To answer your question, I let my dealer winterize. Not that I cannot do it myself, but it doesn't cost a lot, keeps me in touch and a preferred customer with the service manager. It is my once a year service (other than every 2nd year impeller change in the spring), and includes oil/filter change for engine and drive. I am still under warranty (one more year to go), so this way there is a record of the boat's service history.

The 5.0 should have a single point drain system, which makes it very easy to "winterize". If you wanted to, you could boat all year long, and simply drain the engine after each use. The big thing is to not let water freeze and crack the block. If the boat will not be used for an extended period of time, then it should be "fogged". Fall is a good time to change oil and filters, to remove any contaminents and water. If any problem shows up, you have the whole winter to get it fixed, when the dealerships are not so busy.

My dealer charges about $280 to winterize, including parts/labor (engine/drive oil/filter and fuel filter). So it costs about $120 more (1 1/2 hrs labor) than doing it myself. Not a big upcharge.

I would let the dealer do it the first year. Ask if you can watch the process. Then next year decide if you want to tackle it yourself.

It will be a very expensive mistake if you miss someting, and it causes your block to crack.

brick

+1... It is very nice to have a relationship with my marine dealer. This is my second season as a boat owner and I am very glad to have the a very good business in my neighborhood, Great Lakes Marine in Littleton, CO. It benefits me for them to be in business so I let them do my winterizing. It is good to have a seasoned mechanic evaluate my boat once per year.

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Thanks guys! Sorry to offend those that are not happy with my asking all the questions here, I'll see if I can find a general boating forum out there for newbies.

I did google winterizing a Mercruiser 5.0 MPI and found some good information and youtube videos. It seems more involved that I'm probably ready for, fogging, oil, oil/fuel filters, and anti-freeze. I'll see what the local shop charges or even if someone comes to me to do it and may be cheaper than a dealer to do. Also I heard about shrink wrapping, not sure how many do that and what it costs so I'll investigate once I complete the purchase of this boat, if in fact it passes all checks.

Thanks again.

Don't worry about asking questions---there are no dumb questions here. I do my own winterization because I enjoy tinkering and it keeps me intimate with the mechanicals of my boat. It's not difficult but it can be a bit time consuming. I have my outdrive pulled and serviced every other year but other than that, I do it all myself. Good luck and enjoy your new boat!

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Neal: As i tell my students: There are no dumb questions. To not ask is a missed opportunity to learn and improve. I do my own maintenance because I enjoy doing it, am experienced with working on cars and boats, continually learn things about our boat, and save money, allowing me to continue boating. Watch the videos; download service manuals and read them; take your time; and enjoy the process. However, if you are ever unsure of your abilitity and feel you're "in over your head," don't hesitate to pay a mechanic to tackle the job. A boat's a big investment and not something you want to ruin by your errors. Hy

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While I'm sure the hubby & I could do the winterization on the engine/leg... I just don't want to take the chance I did something wrong or missed a step - most insurance policies will not cover freezing UNLESS winterized either by a licenced marine mechanic & receipts shown or they are winterized to industry standards... well... thats too big a loophole for me to trust up to the insurance companies... so for the extra $100-$200 - I let the pros do that - we winterize all our freshwater lines, head lines etc, do the oil/filter change on the genny, add the gas Stabilizer etc... but when it comes to the main engine and leg....its in the hands of the pros :)

good luck

:beer-7687-1:

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I have the shop do mine, about 400 bucks includes fliuds, filter, pulling drive and props, Sty-bil the gas. I winterize the water and Head.

I could do it myself but 20 grand for an engine its his problem if its broken next spring.

matt

ps Hey Capt raft-up did you stub your toe Sat AM?

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I will plan to do mine this year. But only after 'educating" myself with as much information on the subject as i could get. I have read everything from the owners manual to internet sites like this one, along with talking to alot people who have done it before. In addition I want to know as much as I can about my boat and engine as I enjoy tinkering with things like this. At first I was apprehensive about the process, but now I feel I can do a better job than some mechanics, primarily because it is mine.

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I will plan to do mine this year. But only after 'educating" myself with as much information on the subject as i could get. I have read everything from the owners manual to internet sites like this one, along with talking to alot people who have done it before. In addition I want to know as much as I can about my boat and engine as I enjoy tinkering with things like this. At first I was apprehensive about the process, but now I feel I can do a better job than some mechanics, primarily because it is mine.

That is exactly what led me to start doing it myself. I watched the mechanic do it, decided I can do that, and besides, I really my boat. To him, the boat & I were just customers. He gets 95 per, and for those things I can't do, I rely on him. For those things I can do, I enjoy doing.

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I have always done everything myself on our past boats. This is the first time I am having the Marina do "Everything". I ran all the numbers and it will be 340 deer more to have them do everything vs me doing the labor. The main reason for them doing all is the fact that we do not have a trailer. To have them pull it out of the water and put it on stands, me trying to do all with tools and equipment on the truck (forgetting a tool or item) then travel 5 hours home is just not worth the 340. I just hope they do it right but as others have said.....if they screw up they are responsible to repair. In your case it is not rocket science and you can save some deer doing it yourself. Study and learn, double check your work. Maybe have somebody come to you. Offer them extra money to teach you and be honest by telling them that you would like to do it yourself next year.

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