Arwen's meanderings

Hi everyone and welcome to my dinghy cruising blog about my John Welsford designed 'navigator' named Arwen. Built over three years, Arwen was launched in August 2007. She is a standing lug yawl 14' 6" in length. This blog records our dinghy cruising voyages together around the coastal waters of SW England.
Arwen has an associated YouTube channel so visit to find our most recent cruises and click subscribe.
On this blog you will find posts about dinghy cruising locations, accounts of our voyages, maintenance tips and 'How to's' ranging from rigging standing lug sails and building galley boxes to using 'anchor buddies' and creating 'pilotage notes'. I hope you find something that inspires you to get out on the water in your boat. Drop us a comment and happy sailing.
Steve and Arwen

Friday, 3 December 2021

Do I winterize my outboard or hang on a little longer?

 I am hoping to get out on Arwen after a prolonged absence due to trailer woes. The weather isnt co-operating though. It was this time last year that i emptied her for the winter months and winterized my outboard engine. I have done some videos about servicing my outboard before and these can be found below. Read the comments that go with the videos as there are some additional useful tips. 

part one

When I put the outboard away for winter last year, I started by flushing the cooling system one more time by placing the lower unit in a dustbin of water and switching the engine on. I always do this after every trip anyway but i just wanted to be doubly sure.  I then remove and keep the outboard vertical on its stand to ensure that all water has drained out. 

part two

Last year because I did a service during the first lockdown I didn't bother to drain and replace the oil as I had already done this. However, if you have warmed up the engine, after doing the water drain down, now would be the time to drain the oil and change it, whilst it is warm (not hot!) and more fluid. Again, the videos show how to do this. 

part three

Similarly, I would for winterization, also drain off the lower unit oil reservoir and replace it but I've already done it as part of the lock down service.  At the same time, remove the prop and lubricate shaft spindles. You could at this point remove the lower unit and change the water impellor. It needs doing every two to three years depending on your use of the outboard. One of my videos shows how to do this. 

I always change the spark plug once a year, normally when I am wintering it. 

part four

With regard to fuel, I have never drained the fuel tank over winter but I am told I should do. I do run the engine and then switch off the fuel tap so that the carb runs dry. This means no fuel is left in the carb bowl or carb or fuel lines. This year I may well look at and change the inline fuel filter. I didnt do it last year which was remiss of me. 

I always check the steering and tilt assemblies, greasing lubrication points and check for any signs of corrosion on the wires, link points or throttle assembly. 

Last but not least I clean the exterior and spray metal parts with WD-40. Inside the engine case I spray that with a water repellant as well and it is mentioned in one of the videos. 

Given how few times I have been out this year, I think I will not bother with a winter service this time. The oil wil be fine. The grease is still good. I will give it an interior and exterior spray though. 

With regard to previous posts about my outboard engine, servicing it and building an outboard stand for it, just enter the word 'outboard' in the search bar on the blog. 

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