Why Drain Your Lower Unit
Turns out the o ring must have fallen off the drain screw when he replaced the lower unit oil.....If I would have ran that engine, I would have fried my lower unit. I put a new o rign on, and lube in it in September and still checked checked it before I put it away for the winter. it takes like 10 minutes, tops for peace of mind.
I'm sure you will use some common sense on this. Motors aren't cheap. But you are right about the boys in the north.
Also if there is water in there over the winter it can freeze and crack the housing. Major problem there as well.
I have changed by 40 hp 1997 4 cylinder yearly since new. Never had water in the oil and looked near new each time draining it, but not perfect with the first time way back in 1997 some metal filings on the drain plug, not much though. Never have ever replaced the o-ring washer ever since looked as good as new, but others replace that every 2-4 years or so. I use my boat sparingly like 4-10 times each summer, so really not needed to do every year in my opinion. If I was using it 15-25 times per year, then I can see changing gear lube once every year. It is that one time that water comes out first that you will regret and then if that happens, replace the rubber o-ring for sure. Cheap insurance with the bottle pump that threads onto the bottom plug, easy to do and cheap but not needed for me really every year, more like once every other year for low use like mine, but I do it anyways since easy and fog my engine by running it in a 32 gallon trash container filled with water in my yard and take cover off, let engine warm up fully, take a can of mercury spraying fog oil with red long wand attached and spray into the 2 carbs back and forth full spray and then disconnect gas line and keep spraying fogging oil back and forth into carbs both top and bottom one and rev engine a bit while doing this until you see a cloud of smoke rise up behind the engine until the engine eventually dies due to lack of gas and too much fogging oil. Then, take out spark plugs (I have 4 for my 4 cylinder), clean the gunk buildup on plugshem with fine very tiny flat screwdriver, squirt a few sprays of fogging oil into the spark plug holes, turn over engine by hand cranking it on top a few times, and reinstall plugs, put cover back on and good to go all winter long. I put so much fogging oil in that the oil runs out the prop on bottom and makes a mess without putting newspaper and cardboard on your garage floor once you lower the engine fully.