If you live in an in-between state where weather events are inconsistent and it freezes occasionally, or if you live near a major river, such as the Mississippi River, where you can fish year-round, you can keep your boat on the water, but you should still take some steps to keep it running smoothly.
It becomes even more critical to maintain your boat especially if it's put to task during cold months. If there is a chance of freezing temperatures, it’s critical to thwart your engine’s biggest enemy—water. Water in any part of your boat’s system—the lower unit, livewell or bilge area—could cause major problems. That’s why it’s so important to empty your boat of any water. Tilt the motor so that it’s all the way down to let gravity do what it does best. Doing this allows water to drain, which will help prevent any damage from ice. Also, don’t forget to pull the drain plug when storing it at home.
One more tip: Bring some sand or kitty litter with you to the landing and sprinkle it before you put your boat into the water. Water can turn into ice on concrete ramps. The sand or kitty litter will give you some traction so you don’t slip and turn your day into a nightmare.
Changing the oil and fuel filter in fourstroke engines is advisable at least once a year. It’s also important to inspect fuel lines and the water pump. Another important thing to note is that batteries can freeze in cold weather and weaken, so make sure you keep them fully charged.