Winter Storage Tips

by Chuck Petersen

It is October 9, 1997 and still 80 degrees here in Milwaukee. I will regretfully pull my Century Palomino out this weekend for the season. A few simple maintenance stops taken now will ensure safe storage over the winter months. First, drain gearcase oil and fill with good quality lube. I use Mercury High Performance Synthetic Oil in full-shift models and Lubriplate number 105 on non-shift models. This will eliminate any water that made its way in during the summer and the nasty explosions that occur when water freezes. The motor should be run dry of fuel at dockside. After trailering, use primer bulb to flush naptha through the fuel system. This will clean carbs to limit buildup. Next, squirt 2 cycle oil through the carburetor while turning motor over until it mists out of spark plug holes. I prefer Chevron TCWIII oil for its detergent properties. Replace plugs and wipe up any mess. Finally, coat any plastic or rubber parts with silicone or Formula 2001. Remove propeller and clean and oil shaft. Mercury owners should also grease magneto drive housing and tower housing fittings at this time.

I thought the 1997 Rendezvous was fantastic and the show of outboards was really encouraging. Thanks to all involved for a truly great summer experience and thanks to my dad, Gerry Petersen for sharing the experience with me.