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One of the best places to catch smallmouth fish is in the Umpqua River located in Oregon. You might not consistently find the biggest fish there, but hundreds are caught by fishermen every single day! Bass and river herrings are the most common fish found in the Umpqua River, so if you have any desire to catch either of these, you’re definitely headed to the right place.
While you’re cruising around in your boat down the Umpqua River, you’ll be amazed at the beautiful scenery of the Hundred Valleys of the Umpqua, one of the best sights that the Pacific coast of Oregon has to offer. If you’ve got a bottle of Mercury 2 Cycle Oil, you’ll likely be more than one step ahead of the other boaters and fishermen that you’ll encounter during your time on the river. In no time, you’ll have more smallmouth fish than you can carry, with just a little bit of effort and a boat running as smoothly as possible.
There are many different engine lubricants available on the market. This can make it hard to determine the good from the bad. Quality oils will have certain characteristics no matter the brand. For instance, quality oil will be made from polymers that are resistant to breakage under extreme circumstances. These additives protect an expensive engine from corrosion, rust, and sand particles.
Quality oil should be thick and viscous. The oil needs to cling to engine parts when running, but also flow to the lowest parts of the engine to coat rings and bearings. Personally, I go for Yamaha oil as I know that whether I need two stroke or four stroke oil, their brand delivers quality.
Yesterday we went over the first few steps in winterizing an Evinrude 9.9 outboard motor. We left off with flushing out the motor with cool water. After the motor has been flushed, allow the water to drain from the cooling system as the outboard sits upright.
Next, drain the lower unit and refill the unit with gear lubricant. Also use this time to inspect the propeller shaft for any cracks in the seal. Change the motor oil; Evinrude outboard oil is preferred, especially for four-stroke engines. Finally, disconnect the spark plugs, spray fogging oil into the ports, and bump the starter to evenly distribute the spray. Finally, disconnect the portable fuel tanks, the battery, and remove the propeller. Store everything neatly in a dry, secure location and your 9.9 Evinrude outboard motor should weather the winter perfectly.
Maximizing your mobility and getting the most out of your boating experience should be everyone’s goal. The problem is how do you get there? It’s not like anyone decides they’re going to dislike their time on the water, it’s just that so many people don’t know how to get the most out of it. Stick steering for your outboard motor is one affordable strategy you can use to make your boating experience more fun than ever before.
By eliminating the need to sit directly in front of the motor as you steer, stick steering allows you to change the motor’s position from a distance. That means that you can now steer the boat from the front of the craft, the way it’s supposed to be done. When the stick is moved a drum is rotated and the motor shifts its position accordingly. They’re relatively easy to install and can be purchased for under $500. Without having to fork over the cash for an independent steering system this is a great way to get more from your outboard motor.
And for Evinrude owners, stock up on Evinrude XD100 oil and make your motor last.
In an early post in this series I said to drain all of the fuel from the tank. This is a necessary procedure, but there are two schools of thought when it comes to what to do after this process. Some manufacturers say to disconnect the fuel hose and run the engine until all of the fuel is gone and leave the boat in that condition for storage. Others say to refill the tank with fuel and add a fuel treatment product to prevent condensation from building in the tank.
If you take the latter route, you will obviously want to make sure you add the proper ratio of outboard motor oil as well. The best way to determine which method to employ is simply to consult your owner’s manual. During the process of preparing the fuel tank, however, you will always want to change the fuel filters and the water separators.
Fueling your boat is obviously one of the riskiest practices when it comes to petroleum spills in the water. Not only will spilling gasoline harm the wildlife and ecosystem, the corrosive nature of the fuel can cause serious damage to the hull of your boat as well. Although gas stations built on piers are easily accessible for boaters, the ramifications of a spill are exponentially worse than if you were refueling on dry land. So whenever possible, throw your boat on the trailer and make the trip down the street to your standard station.
Whenever you fill your boat, be sure to leave about 10 percent of the tank unfilled to allow for expansion and help prevent spills. There are multiple ways to determine when the tank is almost to capacity, including sounding sticks, listening to the filter pipe and, of course, taking note of the tank’s volume. Another one of the main ways boaters contaminate a body of water is by discharging outboard motor oil through the bilge pump; however, this should be an issue if you keep your engine well maintained. But just to be safe, it’s a good idea to place some oil absorbent materials in the bilge boom and underneath the engine.
Three different engines are used by the NMMA to test the oils and determine if they meet TC-W3 certification standards. First, the outboard motor oil is tested on a BRP 40 hp engine and a Johnson 70 hp. They also run two consecutive tests using a Mercury 15 hp motor and two separate lubricity tests. This variety of testing ensures that the oil’s performance is uniform in all two-stroke engines.
During the tests, the engines run for 100 hours each. Every ten hours during the test, the testers stop the engines and the oil is inspected. The testing process remains constant regardless of the manufacturer and chemical makeup of the oil. Many boat manufacturers specify TC-W3 certified oils for their engines, so receiving TC-W3 certification can be a boon for an oil manufacturer.
Manufacturers will have different recommendations as to when to change your oil filter; however, it is advisable to invest in a new filter every time you change your oil. If your oil filter mounts vertically, it should be fairly simple to replace. For oil filters that are bewilderingly mounted horizontally or upside down, you will need to have a bag ready to contain the outboard motor oil that will inevitably spill during the removal process.
The vast majority of oil filers spin-on, which means that you will need a strap wrench to remove them. Before putting the new oil filter into place, coat the gasket with oil. Screw the filter in by hand, ensuring that the gasket makes full contact, and then tighten it another three-quarter turn. For older boats, there is typically a center bolt that must be removed before you can access the cartridge oil filter.
Now that we’ve covered the two primary circuits of the carburetor, the final components to review are the pilot jet and the pilot screw. These mechanisms control the flow of fuel and outboard motor oil in a two-stroke engine when the throttle is in the idle position up to one-eighth open. Much akin to the main jet, the pilot jet is essentially a screw that is equipped with a calibrated hole.
Like the other two circuits, a high number on the pilot jet indicates a larger opening and a richer mixture of fuel. The pilot screw works like the one on the main jet; tightening the screw makes the mixture leaner, and vice-versa. By adjusting the three circuits that we have covered over this week, you will be able to fine-tune the richness of your fuel to air ratio and customize how your engine runs.
1. Consider warranties. Investigate the warranties for every boat you are considering. Warranties are valuable, and should be an influencer in your decision. Some warranties are transferable, which may become a selling point if you decide to sell your boat. Find out what the warranty includes (engine, hull, components, accessories, service, etc.) and find out about the service that you will receive if something fails. A good way to do this is to ask for references. If you are considering buying a pre-owned boat, be sure to get a marine survey – hire this person yourself to ensure that the survey is done with your interests in mind.
2. Keep a log. At the boat show and as you visit local dealerships, document everything: Take pictures of the dashboard, the galley, the head. Take notes, or record your reactions on a recording device. Involve your family with the decision and listen to their likes and dislikes about each boat. No two boats are exactly the same – but there exists a perfect boat for you and yours. Use your short list of features and brands to quantify your observations… Make a chart, and use it to rank your top choices.
3. When are you ready? Reminder: There is no correct amount of time that it should take to shop for a boat. For some, one afternoon is all that they need. It takes others several years. The right time for you to buy a boat is when you are ready. Boat shows often offer “show specials” to entice you to purchase at the show. Ask the dealer if he/she would honor that price in a few weeks after doing some more shopping… Chances are the answer will be yes.
4. The Test Drive. Did you realize that you can test drive a boat? The way a boat handles, and the way it feels on the water is a very important consideration. Bring the family along for your test drives, and try to test the boat in the types of conditions where you will be using it.
5. The cost of ownership. For most, the cost of owning a boat is nothing compared to the benefits derived from owning and using your own boat. Nonetheless, be sure you understand that the cost of owning a boat includes more than just the fiberglass. You’ll have to spend money on maintenance essentials like outboard motor oil as well.
6. Learning to use your new boat. Boating is not difficult, but driving a boat, like anything else, is a skill. If you have not already, sign up for boaters education courses where you can learn the rules of the road. For on-the-water training, some dealers provide captains to train you on how to use your boats. Others leave it up to you to learn. Most marinas and dealerships have a network of captains or experienced boaters that you can hire to show you the ropes on your own boat. Most likely the only parts that will require practice will be docking, launching and retrieving your boat. The best tip here is just to take it slow and practice.