September 2012

Winterize your engine

Get a head start on spring

Proper winterization of both outboard engine and stern drive lower units includes cleaning, lubrication and replacing sacrificial anodes.

To lubricate your engine, remove the vent on the unit’s bottom and allow a small amount of lubricating oil to run out. Inspect this oil for cleanliness and moisture. If either dirt or moisture is present, drain and replace the gear oil after first determining and repairing the cause.

The lower units of outboard engines contain a small amount of gear lubricant, which should be drained and refilled at the end of each boating season.

Lubricate the upper and lower pivot pins and gimbal bearings on stern drives, and lubricate the pivot bearings and tilt pins on outboard engines.

Replace sacrificial anodes that are more than 50 percent consumed. Test the tilt mechanism, check the fluid in the tilt reservoir and replenish if low. Lubricate mechanical tilt units.

With the stern drive raised, inspect the bellows for cracks or leakage points. Store the stern drive in the normal operating position to protect the bellows from abnormal stretching, which could cause cracking later.

Wipe the unit’s exterior and paint over any area where paint is missing. Do not use a copper-based paint; refer to your owner’s manual or consult the dealer for an approved paint.

Become an engine guru; take the Engine Maintenance course at a squadron near you.




Show your pride in USPS with this 100th anniversary ensign.

Mastering Marlinespike

Buntline hitch

A simple knot that will hold under a load, the buntline hitch can be rapidly and easily passed through a ring or around a bar or spar.


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