Advantages of Mercury OptiMax Oil

What are some of the advantages of using Mercury OptiMax oil? The obvious answer is that the oil was specifically designed for use with the high performing OptiMax outboard engine. To expand on the response: the elite OptiMax outboard puts more strain on lubricants than the average oil can handle.

Typical two-stroke engine oils cannot cope with the hotter operating temperatures and reduced oiling rates of DI engines. Mercury OptiMax oil has additives that give extra protection. In other words, if you want your OptiMax engine to run efficiently, then you need to use Mercury OptiMax oil.

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Breaking in an OptiMax Outboard

Breaking in a new outboard engine can be a daunting task. You want to be sure that the task is completed correctly in order to ensure optimal performance and longevity of the outboard. Before you begin breaking in a new outboard engine, particularly an OptiMax outboard, be sure to read through the Operation, Maintenance & Warranty manual.

Generally, keeping the throttle wide-open or idling for any length of time is to be avoided during the first two hours of use. In older two-stroke models, the process of breaking in required extra oil, but the OptiMax engines use specific computer programming to increase the oil mixture during the breaking-in process. In order for the computing to work, you first need to be sure that you have the appropriate amount of Mercury OptiMax oil in place.

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Adjusting the Choke on a MerCruiser

To increase the gas entering your MerCruiser cylinders, you’ll need to adjust the engine’s choke. The choke enriches the air and gas mixture that enters the cylinders, thus making starting a MerCruiser engine an easier task. Of course, before you begin, you should check to make sure that your boat has plenty of gas and Evinrude 2 cycle oil XD100.

First, tilt the motor so the drive system is submerged and then open the tank vent. Shift into neutral and set the choke lever between full and half full. Place the throttle in the start position and rip the manual cord (or press the start button on an electric starter). Adjust the choke back into the off position as the engine warms.

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Refresher Week

This week I’ve dubbed “Refresher Week.” I’ll be answering a number of questions that are frequently posed to me by friends and boating enthusiasts alike. You might read a post and think, “Well, that’s a no brainer.” Please bear in mind that we were all beginners once.

Today’s topic is: How to store bulk motor oil. Personally, I always buy my oil in bulk because it’s a true costs saver. The first thing I do when I receive my shipment of bulk motor oil is to check the drum for any leaks or weaknesses. If I notice any dings, I have a reserve drum that I can transfer the contents of the damaged drum into. Next, I move the drum into a safe, dry area that will be well protected from the elements and from extreme temperatures which can affect the oil’s viscosity.

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Deer Harbor

Another region of the San Juan Islands I love to explore by boat is Deer Harbor. The harbor is part of an unincorporated community on Orcas Island. Like the other San Juan Island communities I’ve described, the area is a hotbed for kayaking, whale watching, and fishing. The area is also known for its plentiful Dungeness crab, rock crab, and shrimp.

My wife and I particularly like boating in Moran State Park. The views of Mount Constitution are just tremendous. I would highly recommend breaking out your best outboard motor oil and heading over to Deer Harbor for a weekend of waterfront fun.

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Replacing Floats

Last weekend I helped a friend troubleshoot some issues he was having with his older 65hp Mercury outboard motor. Whenever he pumped the bulb to get the fuel lines filled with gas, the gas started spraying out of both carburetors. Too much pressure seemed to be reaching the carburetors in the float bowl.

We took apart the fuel pump and did not find any holes. After some more inspecting we concluded that it was probably time to replace the old cork floats with new plastic floats. We did that, put the parts back together, filled it up with fuel and Mercury outboard oil, and then gave it a go. The new floats seemed to do the trick!

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Taking Advantage of the Weather

The reason I’ve been so anxious to stock up on Mercury oil is I don’t know how much longer we’ll get to enjoy good weather. I suppose I should start by explaining that it has been exceptionally rainy. We’ve finally gotten a small reprieve, so I’m determined to take advantage of the good weather, which may not return again until late June.

This weekend I’m hoping to take a few guests out on my boat. It’s a little cold for water sports, but taking a cruise around the lake will be a pleasant break from the norm. I’ve got my fingers crossed that Mother Nature will cooperate!

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Lightboat Swiftsure

Built in 1904, Swiftsure is one of the oldest lightships in the United States. It is also the only lightship to have its original steam engines. Its journey began in Camden, New Jersey and continued to the tip of South America and back up to the Blunts Reef, California. It was part of a successful rescue mission of 150 passengers whose ship had run aground in a dense fog.

The boat has had other names (it started out as simply Lightship #83) over the years. Its current name refers to the Swiftsure Bank near the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca whish separates WA from Vancouver Island. The Swiftsure is a National Historic Landmark and is currently moored at – you guessed it- Lake Union in Seattle. Yes, my Mercury engine oil purchasing buddies will be hearing about this vessel, too.

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The Duwamish Fireboat

For 75-years the Duwamish was one of the most important fireboats in the United States. The Duwamish was built in 1909 specifically for the Seattle Fire Department. On board were three American LaFrance steam piston pumps rated at 3,000 gallons per minute apiece. An upgrade in 1949 bumped the rated capacity to 22,800 gallons per minute. Only the L.A. Fire Department’s Warner Lawrence has exceeded the Duwamish (38,000 lpm), and that didn’t occur until 2003.

When volunteers are available, visitors can board the Duwamish, which is moored at South Lake Union Park in Seattle. The boat is used by the Sea Scouts (a part of the Boy Scouts of America) and maintained by the Puget Sound fireboat Foundation. This is another vessel I’ll tell my buddies about when I go get my Mercury 2 stroke oil.

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Northwest Seaport

Last week I dedicated a lot of space to Mystic Seaport. This week I’m going to take you to the opposite coast to the Northwest Seaport Maritime Heritage Center in Seattle, WA. Not surprisingly, the Northwest coast has a rich maritime history. In the 1960s a campaign called “Save Our Ships” was launched to save the Wawona, which was successfully bought in 1964.

The Wawona was a three-masted fore-and-aft schooner. It was used as a lumber carrier and fishing vessel from 1897 to 1947. Unfortunately, the Wawona was slated to be towed to a dry dock and dismantled in 2009. The schooner’s masts had already been removed three years earlier for safety reasons. I’m glad I got to see the ship before it was destroyed. When I’m shopping for Mercury 2 cycle oil this week I’ll ask my buddies if they’d like to go check out the Seaport sometime.

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Fly Fishing in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park straddles two states, Tennessee and North Carolina, and has some of the country’s best streams for fly fishing. Brook trout are native to the waters and brown and rainbow trout were added later to the area and have thrived. Recent droughts have triggered tighter restrictions on fishing in the park, but it still a must-see for avid fishermen and women.

If you’re looking to capture trophy fish, then Great Smoky Mountains National Park isn’t for you. The fish in the park are smaller – having adapted to their environment – but it is the terrain and degree of difficulty in catching some of the more elusive species that makes the site such a big draw. Although you can fish from dry land, you should still bring your boat, and plenty of boat motor oil, to try out some of the waters in and around the park.

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Sport 340 Inflatable Boat

I read another pithy tagline for inflatable boats, this time for the Sport 340 soft bottom inflatable boat. The tagline read, “Capable. Very Capable.” It’s not quite as catchy as the tagline I mentioned in Monday’s post, but it still made me snicker.

The Sport 340 is described as a boat that can go the distance. It can be used as a fishing, cruising, family fun, or ship-to-shore tender boat. The trick is in the design of the boat: It has a lower center of gravity and high-strength floors with seating for up to five people. Throw an outboard on the back, some Mercury outboard oil, and some gasoline and you’ll be good to go.

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