Archive for November, 2011
As you may have heard, right around Halloween the northeastern United States got smacked with several feet of snow. My cousins live up north and they were out of power for more than a week. Schools were closed, public transportation shut-down – things were simply at a stand still.
Lucky for my cousins, they had already started getting their snowmobiles ready for the winter season. When the snow stopped falling, they checked the snowmobile oil levels, revved up their engines, and went out for several days of fun. They weren’t alone either; a bunch of other young people had the same idea, too!
My brothers and I grew up boating on the Chesapeake Bay. Though most of us live in urban areas now, we still go home for all the major holidays. Our dad still owns a small fleet of boats that he needs help winterizing each year.
To make it less of a chore, my brothers and I have made winterizing the boats into a competition. The first brother to finish winterizing their boat properly wins. Dad, of course, gets to be the judge. He is a particular stickler for making sure that we haven’t shortchanged any areas that need outboard oil.
The Discovery Channel has some fairly interesting reality television programming, including the series “Gold Rush” (previously known as “Gold Rush: Alaska”). I was watching one of the early episodes from season two and was simply appalled by what I saw. The crew did not winterize their big equipment at the end of last season, meaning when they arrived back at their claim, much of their heavy machinery was heavily rusted.
Naturally, there was concern as to weather the machinery would start at all. By some miracle it did, but I would never advise letting any piece of machinery simply rust away during the winter months – especially not in a climate like that of Alaska! Take this as a warning to winterize all boats now before the worst of winter sets in. Don’t forget to stock up on outboard motor oil while you’re at it.
Special marine grade oil is needed for diesel marine engines, as they typically carry high loads for extended periods of time. The National Marine Manufacturers Association tests diesel engine oils and gives recommendations based on those tests. The oils tested may be entirely synthetic or partially synthetic.
NMMA-certified oils include: oil TC-W3 amalie, FC-W and FC-W (CAT). TC-W3 is used with two-stroke engines, FC-W with four-stroke engines, and FC-W(CAT) with four-stroke engines that have exhaust treatment catalyst systems. When selecting diesel oil, be sure to consider added characteristics
Pull out the oil inlet line by hand from the pump and cap it with your thumb. Drain the mercury outboard oil into a storage container. Use duct tape to cap the line. Tag the oil outlet line which runs from the pump to the fuel system. Pull the line from the pump, and then cap the line with duct tape to prevent contamination.
If you’re like me, then you try to save money by ordering your outboard motor oil in bulk. While this is a great money saver, you need to be careful with how you store oil. Drums can be made of several materials, including polyethylene and steel. You need to check with the manufacturer to make sure that the container you use for storage is appropriate for the oil it contains.
An incorrect storage drum can cause damage to the oil itself. The wrong storage drum can also become corroded and leak oil everywhere, thus hurting the environment and your wallet. The moral of this story is, give your mercury oil 55 gallon drum guy a call when you place your order to make sure everything is kosher.
Shrink wrapping your boat helps protect it during the cold winter months. All you need is a boat shrink wrap kit, a heat gun, and a ladder (depending on the size of your boat). Most of these items can be ordered online or purchased at a boating supplies store.
Take care of the engine, mercury oil, and other necessities on the boat and position the vehicle where you want it to stay for the season. Pad sharp corners that could potentially puncture the shrink wrap. Put up support poles for the shrink wrap to adhere to, and then unroll the shrink wrap over the boat. Use the heat gun to tighten and seal the shrink wrap. Check your work for any holes, patch up those holes you find, and finally install self adhesive vents to keep mold from forming under the wrap.
Coming to market soon is a 15 percent blend of ethanol fuel mix. The new blend has outboard marine engine producers up in arms. An engineer from Mercury Marine Corp. was scheduled to testify before a congressional committee last week regarding the damage the new biofuel blend has on outboard engines.
In one of the Department of Energy approved tests, a 200-horsepower outboard engine’s bearings on a piston disintegrated after 300 hours of operation. Meanwhile, the outboard engine using mercury engine oil and fuel mixture did not experience any damage. Supporters of the new blend counter that the tests are statistically irrelevant because so few engines were used. Supporters also claim that the engines tested were not calibrated properly for the new 15 percent ethanol blend.
In continuing from yesterday… Now that the carburetor is completely clean it’s time to reinstall all the parts that were removed. Start with the jets, then the fuel bowls and carburetor, and then tighten the screws. Check to make sure everything is secure and that none of the parts got dinged during cleaning.
Your carburetor should now function perfectly. Hopefully, while working on the carburetor you took a few minutes to check out other parts of your boat. Checking the level of Mercury 2 stroke premium outboard motor oil, for instance, is an important part of boat upkeep.
Let’s pick up from where yesterday’s post left off. After removing the carburetor, you’ll next want to clean the jets with a jet pick. Try to remove as much oil gel as possible before washing the jets in carburetor cleaner. Clean the gunk out of the fuel bowl, too.
Next, take your . This will remove any buildup that has managed to stay put. Wear safety goggles to protect from particles blowing into your eyes. Stay tuned for part III tomorrow, and don’t forget to stock up on Mercury 2 stroke oil!