Mooring and Hunting - When moored in freezing or near freezing temperature, keep the mud motor tilted down at all times so the lower outdrive is submerged. When you park your boat overnight and during hunting, park in a location where the waves are not splashing against the engine. This will cause severe ice build up on the outdrive and trim assembly. This can prevent your motor from turning and trim can freeze in position. If this happens, don't hammer the ice off the trim unit since this can break the wires and seal surfaces.
Belt Housing Leaks - Check your belt housing for water and condensation before freezing weather arrives by removing the small drain screw from the bottom of your belt housing. If there are more than a few teaspoons of water in the drive check for seal leaks. Tighten all the front and rear outdrive bolts. In some cases, you can remove the clutch cover or vent inlet and fill the belt housing with water. You will then see the leak location. Seal threads and surfaces with an automotive sensor safe silicone (alcohol based available at auto parts stores). Do not use household window and door silicone sealer (they are ammonia based and will corrode the surfaces and wires).
Throttle Cable - If any water enters the throttle cable it will freeze and prevent you from running your motor. If you thaw out the cable with your hands or some other type of heat, I guarantee it will freeze when you are driving and you will have an unpleasant surprise. The throttle will stick and you will need to turn the key off or use the safety kill switch to stop. On short transom boats, the sudden stop will cause a wave to come over the transom. This is unsafe.
Prevent water from entering the cable by elevating both ends all the time. We elevate the engine side cable and you need to elevate the throttle end when you receive and install the handle on new motors. Use a tight wire tie 6" from handle to elevate the cable slightly.
Remove water in the throttle cable by removing the cable, hanging it vertically and insert WD-40 or silicone spray. The best way is to slide a tight fitting rubber hose over the throttle cable and spray silicone into a container and us the hose to funnel silicone into the throttle until it runs out the lower end. Now install the cable with both ends elevated.
Cover the throttle and handle controls with a plastic bag in freezing rain. The ice will build up and cause the switches to freeze in place. If you hammer the ice from the switches this can cause breakage. Carry a zip-lock, cover, or handle cover when in these freezing rain conditions.
Protect your fuel by removing ice and snow from your fuel tank. Shine a flashlight into the fuel tank at night and the little diamonds floating in the bottom of the fuel tank are water droplets. Don't allow ice and snow to enter the tank when refueling. Use moisture dissipating fuel additives in cold weather. One small ice particle in the tank, fuel line, filter or carb will make for a very short or long day on the water.
Carb Freezing can occur when running on mist or foggy water when temperatures fall below 35 degrees, not 32, 35 degrees. The accelerated damp air moving through the intake system will cause a sudden temperature drop and ice will build up in your carburetor. This will cause loss of power, exhaust smoking, accelerated fuel consumption and a headache. We make many models of engines and the Kohler, Kawasaki and large Vanguard have cold weather icing problems. On all these motors, turn the air filter intake towards the exhaust so warm air enters the motor.
If your engine intake freezes, shut off the warm engine and cover with a motor cover, decoy bag, jacket or anything to keep the engine heat on the carburetor. It will thaw out in 10 minutes.
Parking a boat on steep snow covered shorelines can be dangerous. Approach a snow covered bank slowly. The boat will power up the snow covered shoreline easily and when it slides back into the water, the transom can submerge.
Snow and ice are the boat and motor's worst enemy. Cover your boat and motor when not in use. When the boat and motor become full of snow and ice builds up, it is necessary to garage the boat and completely thaw out all the components. Ice builds rapidly in the boat, adds weight and affects the stability and safe operations of the boat. Ice covered wires easily break. We have lots of fun when the weather gets very cold, but preventative maintenance is imperative.