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Old 04-01-2012, 11:01   #1
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Hard Freeze & outboards ??

Hey folks,

Here in sunny FL, the temps are dropping and though I'm not concerned about water pipes etc in the boat freezing..... What about water in our outboard?

We raise the engine on our cat so it's perched above the water (should keep it warmer) but will any residual water freeze??

thanks!
-dennis
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:10   #2
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Re: hard freeze & outboards??

Being out of the Northwest Pacific, you don't need to do anything. With the motor down in the water, you will not freeze. The water temp is way warmer than the air, also any remaning water can drain out. There is no way it can get cold enough in Florida to damage your motor. I have done this with temps as low as 0 deg. w/ the high only being around 30 deg.. you'll be just fine . Sorry to hear about your cold night...Michael..
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:20   #3
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I haven't in 25 years, and I'm a lot further north.

There is some danger of snow and ice locking water in the hub in very cold climates, but not where you are. The engine itself drains well enough.

I lift my motor because of growth. BTW, leaving it in the water is warmer, not that it matters.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:27   #4
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Re: hard freeze & outboards??

A tilted up OB will retain water in the lower section and freeze, cracking the lower gear case. But not in saltwater.

It happens here when people store their trailerable's with the motor up. It rains, filling the lower exhaust port, then freezes.

I wouldn't worry in FL. The temps have to get down below 28 and hold for more then a day.
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:42   #5
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Re: hard freeze & outboards??

It was 18 degrees (F) in north Florida this morning. Brrrrrr Thankfully not for long enough to freeze an outboard - especially in salt water.
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Old 04-01-2012, 20:12   #6
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Re: hard freeze & outboards??

I used to leave the outboard tilted up on the first sailboat we had with no damage due to freezing. The way it raised from the water, it had to tilt, and yes, temps did get much lower than freezing. Not sure if much water collected, but it wasn't restrained, so perhaps that makes a difference.

Does anyone have first hand knowledge of freeze damage being caused by doing this? Doesn't count if it is water that leaked into the lower unit.
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Old 04-01-2012, 23:54   #7
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Re: hard freeze & outboards??

Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray View Post
I used to leave the outboard tilted up on the first sailboat we had with no damage due to freezing. The way it raised from the water, it had to tilt, and yes, temps did get much lower than freezing. Not sure if much water collected, but it wasn't restrained, so perhaps that makes a difference.

Does anyone have first hand knowledge of freeze damage being caused by doing this? Doesn't count if it is water that leaked into the lower unit.
I've seen it first hand on the neighbors boat/OB.
I'm speaking mostly of the thru hub exhaust types, not normally found on dinghies. But if you google the words "lower unit froze and cracked" you'll find a couple pages of instances where the lower unit cracked from freezing the cooling passage, even the smaller ones.

lower unit froze and cracked - Google Search
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Old 05-01-2012, 18:33   #8
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Re: Hard Freeze & outboards ??

The motor I had that was unaffected did have thru hub exhaust.
The motor was tilted after first being raised, so may have drained first, and that may be the difference. But I would have thought rain would have subsequently refilled the cavity as the hub was "cup up", the motor being almost horizontal.
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