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Thread: Cold Weather Hunt With OptiMax?

  1. #1
    Member rhd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Talking Cold Weather Hunt With OptiMax?

    Cold Weather Hunt With OptiMax?

    I am planning an elk hunt in the northern part of Montana next year, I live near the Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana (elk heaven)

    I have an 18ft Hewescraft river runner with full canopy and a 2009 150hp OptiMax./Jet pump.

    The weather could be 30F to 20F (above zero) or depending if its late in the season, could get down to 0F to 10F without wind-chill, sometimes the hunting can be good during the real cold times.

    When it gets real cold like that if I am out on a trip, is there anything special I need to do to take care of on the motor?

    I realize at those temps the liquid water will be getting solid soon, but I am not sure about any special precautions I should take to avoid damage or the ability to start up the motor (donít want to get stranded)

    With the boat on the beach, should I tilt the motor up to get the pump to drain water better? While in camp, should I start the motor on a daily basis?

    Should I not attempt to run the thing at all at say 10F? Will crap freeze up and bust on my Opti if I keep her out in the cold like that?

    I do plan on bringing a 20lb propane bottle and a weed-burner torch with me in case of emergency.

    Am I fricken crazy to attempt the fringed hunting trip for risk of total freeze up and being stranded? (The big bull might be the BIG prize)

    The strategy is to boat to hunting location, build camp, hunt on foot, so boat could sit 2 to 5 days while hunting.

    I thought I would ask the expert Yukon moose hunters and others who really know what cold is!

    Thanks in advance for comments, suggestions and advice.

    John H. - Montana

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    Used my 200 Opti in temperatures down in the high teens and never had any issues with it. Always left the motor (prop) down so the water pump was submerged. If you raise the motor the water inside would be more prone to freezing.

    Not sure why you would want to beach it, but wouldnt recommend it. Besides how are you and your buddies going to lift it up and move it?

  3. #3
    Member f0zzy2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I have had some outboards form carb ice on cold foggy days. Just shut her down, have lunch and it'llbe fine after 15 or 20 min.


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