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cost of winterizing yourself vs. dealer

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getting close to that time of year. anyone have any direct experience with winterizing your boat yourself vs. what you spent at the dealer? Want to weigh costs vs. headache and time. I have a 233 sunesta with carbourated 5.7 alpha one. I know I have a couple small holes in the exhaust bellow that will need to be replaced, and I know I could do the work, just not sure it's worth the savings.

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Filters, oil, antifreeze,gear lube, fogging oil cost for my 3.0L Mercruiser/Alpha one Gen 2 is about 80 deers. Mechanic asked for winterization 300-350.

Some one time investments needed about 30 deers for lube pump and oil pump. Everything can be done for 2-3 hours.

Really nothing complicated.

I would not touch exhaust bellow until it really bothers me. There were threads about exhaust bellow replacements, make a search.

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If you DIY the winterization make sure you know how to do it or else it may end up costing you a new engine block. It's not hard to do, but a mistake or oversight can be costly and is not covered by most insurance policies. Changing out the fluids and filters is pretty straight forward as Leonid said, would just need a gear lube pump and some other tools that most DIY's already own. Parts and fluids will run you about 100 deer +/-. The holes in your exhaust bellows are not so much of a concern as long as they are not due to age, but since the exhaust bellow are normally changed at the same time as the main bellows and other rubber maintenance components in the outdrive, I would have to ask myself if the main bellows and steering cable bellows are also nearing the end of their lifespan. Replacing them requires the housing to be removed and if you go that deep into the outdrive, you may as well also replace the gimble bearing, realign the drive, replace the trim/limits switches, etc. You will also need some special Merc tools to do the bellows job DIY.

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I replaced about 4 engines last year that were DIY winterized

I'm not surprised - there were reports on this forum about freezing damages in Texas because of unusually cold winter last year over there. As I understand, many people don't winterize their engines at all. :blush:

Fate, TX

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual

Max °F 53.4 58.9 66.9 74.5 81.9 89.6 94.2 94.5 88.0 78.2 65.2 56.3 75.1

Mean°F 42.1 47.3 55.2 62.9 71.0 78.5 82.8 82.6 76.2 65.7 53.8 45.1 63.6

Min °F 30.8 35.6 43.4 51.2 60.0 67.4 71.3 70.7 64.3 53.1 42.4 33.9 52.0

People up north pay just more attention to it.

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I'm not surprised - there were reports on this forum about freezing damages in Texas because of unusually cold winter last year over there. As I understand, many people don't winterize their engines at all. :blush:

Fate, TX

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual

Max °F 53.4 58.9 66.9 74.5 81.9 89.6 94.2 94.5 88.0 78.2 65.2 56.3 75.1

Mean°F 42.1 47.3 55.2 62.9 71.0 78.5 82.8 82.6 76.2 65.7 53.8 45.1 63.6

Min °F 30.8 35.6 43.4 51.2 60.0 67.4 71.3 70.7 64.3 53.1 42.4 33.9 52.0

People up north pay just more attention to it.

We did 15+ engine repacements due to freezing this spring but about 4 I know of were winterized by the customer and still busted

There were alot in the Austin area because they normally dont have to worry about it at all, we normally always have to winterize up here in north Texas

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As I said above, "If you DIY the winterization make sure you know how to do it or else it may end up costing you a new engine block. It's not hard to do, but a mistake or oversight can be costly and is not covered by most insurance policies." If you have any doubt, pay someone else to do it. Martin Pro, I am surprised that people who winterized still had cracked blocks in Texas. I use the -100 (dilution theory) to fill the block and that is after I have drained the water first. Winterization is not to be taken lightly.

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~$130 in materials.

Marinas in our area charge about $400-500 for engine/drive/fresh water/toilet/AC systems including oil changes.

That's about what's charged up here and to me it's like an extra insurance policy. All I have to do is slip up on just one thing and it's going to cost big time. As Whalersailor said "Winterization is not to be taken lightly"

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A couple of years ago I paid the pros, as I had done for many years, to winterize my boat. The only difference was that on that specific occasion, we met at my slip while the boat was on my lift, and I chatted with them while they earned their 150. I made note of everything, and I mean everything. Since then, I have done the job myself.

If fact, this acquired knowledge now gives me the option to winterize and to change my mind and boat again. Last Fall & Winter, I actually winterized three times as the conditions went from good to bad to good to cruddy, to good and then cold for the remaining winter. Each time I winterized (again), I knew I was out a few bucks, but I also had another day or two on the water when everyone else was hunkered down for the winter. Pics of the eagles roaming the area made every cost worth it.

93f40818.jpg

My last winterization was on Sunday following Thanksgiving. I hope to make it that far into the year once again.

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First 2 years I paid a mechanic, working on the side, $150 to winterize.

It just included antifreeze into the engine.

He took the blue wingnuts out of the engine and drained the water, then

took the hoses off and filled it with RV antifreeze.

The last two years I hooked up a 5 gallon bucket with RV antifreeze, and

ran it into the engine using muffs.

The boat is down in VA/NC, and so far no problems.

I change the oil with a pela pump too.

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My Chaparral dealer charges ~450 deer for a "full" winterization (includes oil change, outdrive lube replacement, etc). I've heard of another marina on the lake that charges 235 deer for the same service. In this case I do not believe it's a "get what you pay for deal". My dealer is priced high on everything he does, including his gas prices. I wish I had the confidence to do it myself as I'm sure I could save some money. I know a lot of guys on this forum claim it to be very easy but the impact of not doing it correctly is obviously high. Maybe one of these days I'll find someone to walk me through the process. Seems like it would be a fun way to spend an afternoon

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A couple of years ago I paid the pros, as I had done for many years, to winterize my boat. The only difference was that on that specific occasion, we met at my slip while the boat was on my lift, and I chatted with them while they earned their 150. I made note of everything, and I mean everything. Since then, I have done the job myself.

If fact, this acquired knowledge now gives me the option to winterize and to change my mind and boat again. Last Fall & Winter, I actually winterized three times as the conditions went from good to bad to good to cruddy, to good and then cold for the remaining winter. Each time I winterized (again), I knew I was out a few bucks, but I also had another day or two on the water when everyone else was hunkered down for the winter. Pics of the eagles roaming the area made every cost worth it.

93f40818.jpg

My last winterization was on Sunday following Thanksgiving. I hope to make it that far into the year once again.

Roy, If you come back out here to AZ you won't have to winterize at all since you could pretty much boat all year. My only dilema is going to be......when do I call the season over!

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My costs vary last yr I paid 450 deer for the engine and water system. This yr I will winterize the water system myself for the cost of the antifreeze, I will pay around 200 at Basspro for the engine only

I will also change the drive lube myself, hookup batteries on charger, impeller this spring, not enough hrs on it to justify the engine alignment and lower drive service yet, that will be next year

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Roy, If you come back out here to AZ you won't have to winterize at all since you could pretty much boat all year. My only dilema is going to be......when do I call the season over!

Brian the seasons over where you live, when your on the wrong side of the grass........ :(

matt

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