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Old 12-30-2017, 11:41 AM   #1
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Outboard up or down?

We’re on Kiawah Island, SC for a week with our fishing skiff with temps in the low 20s forecast overnight. Normally, I put it on the trailer and let the Yamaha 90 drain during hard freezes, but that’s not easy to do here.

Do most of you keep the engine in the water or tilt it up during a hard freeze? Does any water stay in the head when the engine’s down, or does it all drain or otherwise seek sea level? Is it worth putting some pick antifreeze into the flush port?

Hope this isn’t another “which anchor is best/single or twins” question.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:18 PM   #2
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We leave outboards down in the water for hard freezes. But many do not and don't seem to be harmed.

I think they drain better in the down position and down in SC you don't have to worry about ice around the boat. The lower unit will hold water if you tilt it up.
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Old 12-30-2017, 12:35 PM   #3
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Down for the hard freezes....a few days in the water shouldnt hurt anything, if worried, one of those clip on zincs to where there is some bare aluminum may help any galvanic issues.
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Old 12-30-2017, 04:54 PM   #4
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An outboard motor will drain in the down position so that's how your should leave it in sub freezing weather.

If in doubt, check the owners manual.
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Old 12-30-2017, 08:54 PM   #5
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Every outboard that I owned the manual said down for freeze protection, even stored in the water.
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Old 12-30-2017, 09:27 PM   #6
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As the outboard is aluminum, leaving it in water well above freezing will likely conduct some heat up several inches above the waters surface further reducing the risk of any water in the lower portion freezing. At least that's my theory anyway.

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Old 01-11-2018, 04:54 PM   #7
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Belated thanks for the feedback, all. I left the OB down as suggested with no issues.

It was an interesting 10 days on Kiawah. Cool weather the first few days, then the bottom fell out with freezing ran, heavy icing and snow—something the wonderful folks on the SE coast are simply paralyzed by. Driving was impossible, cars flipped over in the ditch, stores closed, heat pumps struggling to keep up with the cold, snow-covered beaches and ice-covered palmettos. There was 3 inches of ice in the boat but no damage.
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