Wet Slipped | Motor Tilted Up or Down in Winter?

Discussion in 'Boats, Motors, Trailers and Towing Rigs Forum' started by Matthew S., Dec 1, 2019.


Do you keep your motor tilted up or down during winter while she sleeps at the marina?

  1. Up

  2. Down

  1. Matthew S.

    Matthew S. Member

    Hey guys

    So... I have heard numerous times that throughout winter your motor should be tilted in the fully down position to ensure all water from the motor drains, which includes the prop housing area. However, when I walk down to the marina during winter, all the boats have their motors in the up position? I just want to get the facts straight when I decide to keep the boat at the marina all year; last thing anyone needs is a busted gear case. I have a 2012 DF70A Suzy.

    Thanks You
  2. Redfisher

    Redfisher Well-Known Member

    Many motors are kept up in marinas due to the electrolosis present from power leaks into the water. I myself would keep my motors up in a marina.
  3. bryce

    bryce Active Member

    I always kept my motor up when I was in oak bay now that I’m up north I would be skeptical leaving it up do to freezing
    Also depends on the marina lots of growth will happen on leg and impellor
    G-Auto and John s like this.
  4. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    Tilt the engine up to prevent electrolysis and marine growth. If you are concerned about freezing, you could lower the engine for 5-10 min before starting to allow the surrounding salt water to do its job. You could remove the flush hose and use a funnel to pour in some RV anti-freeze, before leaving the boat if you think it is going to freeze. When you first fire it up the hose for the telltale may be frozen if you flushed with fresh water, the rv antifreeze will prevent that and you will know if your pump is working.
  5. Matthew S.

    Matthew S. Member

    Those poll results are as confusing as asking my wife where she wants to eat out for dinner lol. Maybe I'll ask the question another way...

    For those who have their boats slipped during winter (below freezing areas), anyone have freezing problems with the gear case or head cracking while leaving motor in the up position?

    I'm trying to figure out why it's soooo important to have your motor in the down position if stored on the side of your house but not when slipped.
  6. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    It depends whether your berthing it in salt or fresh water.
    If it's salt I think it comes down to having your leg/prop submerged for months causing corrosion
    V.S. having it tilted and chancing a freeze up.
    In salt, I would tilt my motor
  7. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    I always have mine down when it is moored in the summer and when growth is at its peak. I pull it once a month to change kicker oil, scrub the zincs, grease engine pivot points and bleach the bottom. In the winter months growth is minimal but barni's will start to appear in the 5th week or so. (and another reason why I pull at 4 weeks to bleach) I haven't bottomed painted either. An aluminum outboard properly protected by zincs will corrode no more than an aluminum hull will that is also properly protected. In fact less because outboards have very good paint protection from the factory. If you run your engine at least every 2 weeks you won't have to worry about barni's getting inside as anything that gets in there will be blown out by the water movement. My leg internally is spotless after 22 years of my routine.
  8. Saratoga

    Saratoga Active Member

    I leave my twin F200’s tilted up. This is my first season keeping the boat in all year and I spent a lot of time reading up on the topic and talking to different people including GA Checkpoint (Yamaha dealer). I don’t like leaving my engines tilted down in the salt water and I always flush them with fresh water after use. My marina shuts off the fresh water mid November thru to mid March but they leave fresh water on at the gas dock (safety requirement apparently). So I wired up a bilge pump with a Scotty plug and a small length of hose at the output. I fill two pails with fresh water from the gas dock. Head back to the slip and tilt the engines up. Connect the hose from the bilge pump and dunk it in the pail. It takes just a minute or two to pump the pail through the engine. I repeat with the other engine. Then I very briefly turn each engine over to blow any excess water out of the cooling lines. It seems to work really well. I have extra anti freeze that I could run through using the bilge pump but that’s an extra step that I don’t think I need at this point. My biggest concern was the extra water left in the engine after flushing it - but briefly turning the engines over shoots the water out leaving the system clear. A few people I spoke to have been doing this for several years with no issues and it made sense to me. So that’s my routine until the water is back on to all the boat slips :)
  9. Reel Gone

    Reel Gone Active Member

    If any part of the engine including mounting plate is in the water I would want all my zincs in as well to protect it. Down would be my choice
  10. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    There is very little corrosion when metal is in the water....this is why when you sink and engine you do best to leave it in the water until it reaches the shop for a tear down. Or take it from salt and transfer and sink it in fresh water. Corrosion begins once it is exposed to atmosphere. Flushing the powerhead with fresh water is good because you are flushing salt which could be deposited once the water evaporates. If the leg is down in the salt...the salt can't deposit because there is no evaporation...so flushing the pump and leg is a waste of time. Where does the salt build up on your hull if not rinsed while it is still wet? Up on the bow where the spray bakes in the sun and dries..leaving salt. There will be nothing below the waterline. Same thing with your trailer....launch, park and let the trailer sit in the parking lot for 8 hrs. The trailer dries and salt is left behind. Rinsing now won't get it all off, you would have to scrub and that is impossible with brakes, springs etc. I rinse my trailer after launching and after loading with my portable system and then thoroughly at the car wash on the way home.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
    Jig on and fshnfnatic like this.
  11. BarryA

    BarryA Crew Member

    Curious what your portable system entails, explain?
  12. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    I have a couple of 2 1/2 gallon pressure water fire extinguishers mounted on the front frame of the trailer. I changed out the hose fitting to a garden hose bib. Simply unlatch from the frame and spray down the part of the trailer that got submerged. I make sure to spray the disc brakes and axles well.
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  13. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Here is a picture

    Attached Files:

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  14. Matthew S.

    Matthew S. Member

    Thank you for all the replies. Seems like the best thing to do is keep the motor up while at the marina, which does make me feel better. Running that RV antifreeze isn't a bad way to go if I'm that paranoid. On top of that, maybe a few cans of air and spray into the tell tale... That could work I suppose. Those poll results are interesting albeit my first one on this forum. Glad i could cause a litte friendly debate.

    Thank you again
  15. BarryA

    BarryA Crew Member

    One thing to consider when tilting up is that the drain holes in the belly pan than channel water from the cowling exterior will tend to get clogged with debris (pine needles, etc) over time due to not being vertical.

    You will want to check them periodically and flush with air or water in order to avoid flooding the belly pan and creating other problems.
  16. beemer

    beemer Well-Known Member

    in saltwater ,I like my outboards down when it is freezing or below ,up for all other times. Fresh water makes its way into exhaust and intake tubes and if your outboards are up the freezing weather it can create cracking through freshwater expansion.

  17. gungadin

    gungadin Well-Known Member

    If I remember correctly Suzuki's are one of the few outboards that you are allowed to run while using the flushing attachment, on a Yamaha when you use the flushing attachment, the water moves through the engine from block to and then down to the waterpump, so running the engine while flushing is counter productive as the pump would not be receiving water in the direction of normal flow and is expressly taboo. In a Suzuki it must be different, so I believe that indeed air pressure and/or antifreeze would reach the water pump assembly.
  18. agentaqua

    agentaqua Well-Known Member

    Up - with the only exception of freezing in FW in winter. If not in use for longer time-frames, however - no worries while on the trailer. Better option - if you have it.

    One can add more and more WQ-specific alloy anodes if one is worried about the electrolysis issue. Generally very low electrolysis in FW as opposed to SW. There are specific targeted alloys for anodes of different salinities (FW vs estuarine vs SW). Magnesium anodes for fw, aluminum alloys for estuaries and zincs for SW.


    It would be easy to attach extra zincs to the hull or transom if one is worried about the zincs on the tilted bottom-end (now out of the water) and therefore not providing enough protection against electrolysis.

    In the spring and early summer - there is often excessive growth of algae, barnacles and mussels in many marine/estuarine moorages - that ends-up on your hull and lower end, and especially the intakes are of concern. Tilting-up helps w that.

    If (God Forbid) your boat breaks loose in a heavy windstorm - with your engines up - you may save them from damage keeping them up if your boat finds a beach. It happens every once in a while.

    And lastly - many FW/estuarine moorages are often at the mouth of a river - where during flood periods - there may be logs & debris drifting downstream. With your engines up - you will avoid those logs finding your lower end.

    For all those reasons - as I said - Up - with the only exception of freezing in FW in winter.

    and X2 on profishers comments on rinsing brakes and bearings w FW after launching/retrieving in SW. FW is far more forgiving than SW on components. In SW after EVERY launch - I give the buddy bearings a couple small squirts of grease to drive-out the SW after launch/retrieve. Learned the hard way about that one.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  19. MongooseX

    MongooseX Member

    I leave my suzuki df300 down. If i were to have it up rain water has a easy chance of getting in thru the vent cowling and dripping right into the intake.
  20. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Nobody has mentioned one other factor with an engine up...getting smacked by the guys in every marina that can’t dock a boat in the wind. I’ve seen legs broken right off the mount from being hit hard from the side by a boat out of control in wind and current. I’ve taken engine cowling damage, a nasty transom scar near the boot line, both from this scenario over the years but it was only cosmetic and didn’t keep me off the water.
    beemer likes this.

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