Winter Boating

Discussion in 'Boating' started by CatfishCarpenter, Jan 5, 2008.

  1. CatfishCarpenter

    CatfishCarpenter New Member

    Messages:
    22
    State:
    Indiana
    I want to start fishing in the winter w my 16' jonboat. Last year I finally got me a 25hp 4 strk Merc. THIS IS MY BABY! I've never had a motor I couldn't pick up off the boat. My question is, what precautions should I take besides the obvious? (i.e. Lifejacket, xtra clothes, flares, cell phone in baggie,etc). I know to check the ramp for ice. I just want to make sure I'm covering all the bases. And make sure my first winter outing will be a decent one w/o any problems.:big_smile:
     
  2. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    When finished make sure ya drain the motor real good. Water left behind inside is not good when it freezes.
     

  3. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    Always leave the motor in the run position so the water will drain out of the lower unit. It doesn't hurt to check the lower unit to see if it has any water intusion and add some sea foam to your fuel to help keep the water down and last but the most important in my book is to add a fuel water seperator to it.
     
  4. JAYNC

    JAYNC Active Member

    Messages:
    1,312
    State:
    Newport N.C.
    The main thing about winter boating or any boating is to make sure someone knows where your going and when they can expect you back. If you have a cell phone, keep it somewhere that it cant get wet, and that doesn't mean your pocket. I always keep a dry set of clothes and shoes in an airtight bag just in case I should fall in the water. Keep a set of flares and a flare gun. I also have plenty of emergency supplies such as a tarp, magnesium fire starter, matches, rope, tools, spare prop hub, prop wrench, first aid kit, batteries, etc. Think of things that can happen out on the water, write them down and think it over again. Once you leave the ramp you have to be prepared for anything. If your motor is equipped USE THE KILL CORD and life jacket, you can get ejected from the boat at anytime and if your not using the kill cord your boat will just keep going, or turn and run you over, or hurt someone else. Boating is a lot of fun but you just have to be prepared when something goes wrong. When you pull the boat out of the water, the first thing I do is trim the engine all the way down and let all the water drain out while I'm preparing the boat for trailering. Trim it up and put your transom saver on if you have one and then when you get home, trim the motor down again. Dont forget to periodically take your prop off and check for fishing line behind your prop on the prop shaft, failure to do so will result in ruined seals and water in the lower unit, and a lot of water in the lower unit will freeze and crack the case, or rust the gearing. Like Bubba said, make sure you get a fuel water separator. They are cheap and prevent a lot of problems. Get a good fuel treatment like Pri-G, it is the best fuel treatment out there, it runs circles around stabil. Stabil only does one thing, but Pri-G does 8 things. Do everything your engine manual says, when it says to do it and you'll probably never have problems.

    Happy boating
     
  5. odtimr

    odtimr New Member

    Messages:
    206
    State:
    nebraska
    Roger
    Two fishermen were lost in a nearby lake last year right after ice out. Too small a boat apparently, no life jackets on, took a long time to find them. Very sad story. I believe in the cold weather no one should go alone, and wear a life jacket at all times. I believe you should have a reboarding ladder and know how to use it. Bill has one in the library section. Also I would use the kill switch with a lanyard. A change of warm clothes in a dry sack seems a good idea also. Luck
     
  6. Bubbakat

    Bubbakat New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    McMinnvill
    When you hit the water any time the water temp is below 58 deg. Now I ain't talking ambient temps This is water temps. Immediately after you hit the water you will get a shock from hitting the water and then you loose all ability to swim or function in a normal parameter so please wear a life jacket.
     
  7. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    It might fall under "the obvious" but I would add,, Scrutinize the weather reports and then don't trust 'em, Keep a weather eye at all times. Don't be macho, run for the bank if it gets unexpectedly nasty.

    Hypothermia is probably the largest danger. Know the beginning symptoms.

    An extra set of dry clothes and a few of those chemical hand warmer things couldn't hurt.
     
  8. rgmatt

    rgmatt New Member

    Messages:
    40
    State:
    Delaware River,Pa
    All above is sound advice. For your tow vehicle have Ice melt, shovel, cat litter/sand on hand for extra slippery ramps.

    Even the most experienced boaters have made fatal mistakes in winter. Always where that PFD.

    Matt
     
  9. Fish Bait

    Fish Bait New Member

    Messages:
    11
    State:
    South Carolina
    Alot of things I havent thought of.
     
  10. tntitans21399

    tntitans21399 New Member

    Messages:
    82
    State:
    Tennessee
    Just make sure you are prepared for the weather, not rain but just the cold and wind. When your out on the lake you don't always have a cove or trees blocking the wind plus the wind you get when your moving. That is the coldest you will be is when your driving. I wear the articsheild jacket and bids and I went out in 26 degrees and I wasn't cold because I was covered and I also had a full hunting mask on. So just remember when your on the lake you aren't projected as good against any winds and when your moving you will have that cold air your boating through.

    You would rather have to many layers then not enough. You can take some layers off but it's hard to warm yourself up. Also for me my feet and nose were the first and only thing I got cold, so don't over look the type of socks to wear.