An outboard motor for boats is a development that is supposed to be a self-contained device that has an engine component, subsidiary systems and a propeller. It is designed to be mounted at the rear of the boat. The most common type of boat that you will find an outboard motor on is a smaller vessel, though there are outboard motors on sizeable sailboats to help propel them out of bays and through calm waters. As well as the ability to propel a boat, an outboard motor with the aid of outboard motor oil, is designed to help steer the vessel as well.
Hurricane Gustav is approaching New Orleans, according to the New York Times and the Associated Press. This is the first evacuation warning that the bereaved citizens of New Orleans are receiving since the internationally watched evacuation during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy. This time the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, is not taking things lightly. According to him, Hurricane Gustav will be the “storm of the century,” unrivaled by the incredible power seen in Hurricane Katrina. Although his warnings are far more extravagant than the ones issued by the National Hurricane Center, they are meant to warn jaded residents who feel like they could just ride out the storm. People are taking the warning seriously and the evacuation is taking the form of hundreds of thousand New Orleans residents leaving their homes for safer pastures. The Gulf of Mexico is responsible for producing a large percentage of US bulk oil and this production will be deeply affected by the storm.
The oil filter will need to be changed every time the outboard motor oil is changed. Be sure and place a couple of rags or absorbent pads under the filter cap to collect potential oil or debris. Try to loosen the cap, using the appropriate wrench. You may have to clean the filter cap with an absorbent pad; if this doesn’t work, get a screwdriver and hammer and tap the screwdriver tip down into the cap, rotating the existing oil filter until it loosens enough to be removed.
Before you replace the old oil filter with a new one, dip your finger into the old oil and rub a bead of oil around the edge of the new oil filter’s gasket o-ring, which will ease the future removal of the new filter when it needs to be replaced with the next oil change. If you will be boating in a hot climate that stays above 40 degrees Fahrenheit, use 25W-40 motor oil; in a cooler climate, use a 10W-30. Screw the new oil filter into position. Tighten the new oil filter by hand, ensuring it is snug with an additional ¾ to 1 full turn. Once the oil filter is in place and the drain plug is secured tightly, remove the plug for the fill and add the new oil using a funnel. Check your manufacturer’s manual for specifications regarding the amount of oil to use. Finally, check your dipstick to make sure there is enough oil. For environmental purposes, please dispose of discarded outboard engine oil at an approved hazardous materials collection center. Happy boating!
With a four-stroke outboard motor, you will need to change the boat motor oil at frequent intervals. (A traditional two-stroke outboard motor doesn’t require engine oil because the oil and gasoline mix provides lubrication for the motor.) For a four-stroke outboard engine, it is generally recommended that the oil is changed once a year or every 100 hours of running time in fresh water, whichever comes sooner. For saltwater usage or if the four-stroke motor is run hard, the oil should be changed twice as often-for every 50 hours of running time and or twice a year if you are a frequent boater. A tip before you begin: have plenty of rags or absorbent pads ready to use during and after the oil change.
Pull the boat out of the water onto dry land and remove the engine cover (which usually is secured with one or two latches), setting it off to the side so that its surface does not become scratched. The top section of the outboard engine is called “the power head” and below it is the lower gearcase. Pull out the dip stick to assess the condition of the oil inside the crankcase. The drain plug is in the midsection of the outboard engine, and it will need to be loosened in order to drain the oil.
A table can be helpful to provide some leverage for the draining process. One technique is to turn the steering wheel so that the drain plug on the motor is facing inward, placing an oil pan on the table and under the drain plug to catch the existing oil. Back the drain plug out with the appropriate socket wrench, having a pan ready to catch the oil, because it will flow freely. Once all of the oil has drained, wipe up excess oil. Replace the drain plug, making sure it is secured.
Oil futures are trading higher today than expected after Hurricane Gustav moved through Louisiana, though they did fall to about $108 a barrel this morning. The majority of New Orleans levees held strong and the hurricane missed vital areas where oil refineries are located, though it did pass through a zone where many oil and gas-producing rigs are located and the LOOP (Louisiana Offshore Oil Port), which is an important facility where ships deliver crude oil, heating oil and gasoline. There has been some visual damage to the facilities, but the extent of the damage is not yet known. (LOOP’s website indicates that it is not operating at this time in a message posted on August 30.) At the present time, 25% of United States crude oil production has ceased and inventory levels are expected to decline until production can be brought back to typical levels.
With two new hurricanes suddenly in the mix, this week’s bulk oil prices look more uncertain. Hurricane Hanna looks to be headed toward the East Coast of the U.S., while Hurricane Ike may be headed toward the Gulf. The best-case scenario is that both hurricanes will reduce the number of ships heading toward LOOP. The worst-case scenario is that Hurricane Ike could delay repair from Gustav’s effects and postpone normal oil production. At any rate, oil and gas prices are bound to be erratic and hard to predict this week.
The Labor Day holiday weekend can be an excellent time to enjoy boating recreation close to home as weather forecasts permit. There are so many festivals and special events going on all over America, but a quick bit of rest and relaxation on the water may appeal to you much more. However, according to AAA spokespeople, projected Labor Day travel is down 1% from last year among Americans. This may be due to the prices of fuel and automobile oil as well as boat motor oil. Impending expenses for school clothing and supplies many families with children must absorb can also be a deciding factor when choosing to stay home for Labor Day Weekend.
If you do choose to participate in recreational boating this Labor Day weekend, please follow basic rules of safety on the waterways. Wear a lifejacket that fits properly, avoid alcohol consumption when on the boat, keep a lookout for people and objects in the water, familiarize yourself with water routes and conditions before you travel, and follow the boating “rules of the road”. Most boating fatalities occur each summer during Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day holidays. Operator inattention has been said to be the leading cause of boating accidents, followed by alcohol-related fatalities. One wise precaution is assignation of a designated driver while boating, but passengers who are intoxicated can also cause safety hazards by falling overboard, swimming too close to boat propellers, and having other mishaps. Not wearing a life jacket is also a common component of fatal boating accidents. The new lightweight, compact fishing vests on the market are much more comfortable than the bulkier, more traditional life vests, having been innovatively designed to serve multiple purposes and are added incentive for anglers to wear them at all times while on the water.
Several of the largest oil manufacturers in the Gulf Coast area have evacuated their drilling rigs or are in the immediate process of doing so as Gustav is projected to be the worst Gulf of Mexico hurricane since Katrina. The Gulf of Mexico is home to 26% of United States bulk oil production, and the National Hurricane Center fears Gustav could accelerate into the hurricane category in that area by September 1.
Crude oil for October delivery rose about 1.5% to almost $120.00 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this morning. Oil prices are about 66% higher than they were a year ago, and have gained about 3.3% since Gustav formed in the Caribbean on August 25.
Source: Bloomberg.com 8-28-08
Motion, noise and water relocation are primary reasons that fish will strike a lure, but smell and taste become important when a fish is close enough to bite. Some fish have a much keener sense of smell than others. Sharks and catfish have a finely tuned sense of smell, while carp, salmon and trout are still sharp smellers but without the degree of intensity as sharks and catfish. Bass and walleye fall somewhere in the middle, while pike and muskie only register the smell of fish attractant when they have visually seen the lure and are poised to strike it.
Though many believe the use of fish attractant is used to draw fish, it is actually serves two purposes by disguising negative human-generated smells and tastes left on lures and baits-sunscreen, bug spray, fuel, boat motor oil, nicotine, and our general human smell. Fish attractant can make your fishing bait taste like something that is still alive, fooling the fish into hanging on for a few extra seconds. This gives the angler a better chance of reeling the fish in.
In these tricky economic times, there are many small ways to cut corners and save a buck or two while still enjoying boating. One is to stagger your boat trip schedule, perhaps alternating weekends rather than going every weekend, trying to go during times when the most family and friends are available to make the most of the experience. Another is to have fellow boaters chip in when buying bulk motor oil, sharing the costs and saving you all money in the long run.
Small things can also make your boat more fuel-efficient. Cleaning the barnacle and plant residue from the bottom of the boat will reduce the friction and allow the boat to move faster without impediments. Remove excess weight from your boat in the form of heavy objects you may not use. Change the oil every 100 operating hours and replace the air filter, which must be clean for the best fuel efficiency. Ease on your acceleration when taking off, which greatly reduces the amount of fuel burned, and idling your engine as little as possible will waste less fuel. Try fuel additives after doing some research. While some fuel additives on the market are not worthwhile, there are a few that are beneficial for your engine’s fuel efficiency. Fuel up in the morning if you can; gas is considered more dense when there is less heat in the air, so in the morning, you can get more fuel for your dollar. And finally, consider investing in a fuel meter or fuel computer if you do not already have one. These devices give you instant feedback on your fuel burning rate, allowing you to make immediate adjustments to improve it if you can.
The power and performance of your boat’s outboard motor can make the difference whether your fishing trip is just average or one that you’ll always remember. (This memorable picture from last week, courtesy of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, shows David Hayes holding a 21-pound, 1-ounce channel catfish. His three-year-old granddaughter Alyssa holds the Barbie fishing rod Mr. Hayes used to catch this state record-breaker. She had asked him to hold her fishing rod for a minute!)
Evinrude E-Tec outboard motors do not need maintenance for the first three years or 300 miles of normal recreational use, including Evinrude outboard oil, oil filter, and gearcase lube changes during this initial warranty period. These engineers are lighter and quieter than previous models, start more easily, provide better fuel economy and lower emissions, and use an exclusive low-friction design resulting in very smooth performance.
Yesterday, I discussed the gradual phasing of TCW-2 into TCW-3 oil and answered a few questions about the use of the older oil, why and how it has evolved into TCW-3, etc. It was asked whether premixed TCW-3 oil could for other machines, such as chainsaws, motorcycles, and landscaping equipment without detriment. The “W” that is sometimes present in the name (there is also TC-3 oil) stands for “water-cooled” and is not necessary for an air-cooled engine. Another inquiry that arose was why TCW-3 oils sometimes showed color variations. The answer is that there are different suppliers who use different dyes, strictly for identification purposes, but the oils are formulated exactly the same.
Modern marine engine oil is carefully formulated for premium engine performance, environmental compatibility, and contains the additives now mandated by the federal government for clean, efficient and safe operation of your boat, as I discussed in yesterday’s blog. Many would recommend not cutting corners when it comes to oil, and I would agree with that assessment. Use the best within your budget, mixing it as directions dictate.
Owner’s manuals for outboard motors made in 1992 or prior used to state that premium fuel was required for proper operation, because during that time, premium outboard motor fuel was manufactured containing additives that minimized the formation of deposits inside the engines. During those years, the best oil available was rated at TCW-2 and did not contain the detergents and carbon preservative ingredients that marine engine oil such as XD-30, XD-50, and XD-100 does today. The federal government ruled in the late 1990s that all grades of fuel were required to include identical additive ingredients, and the premium fuel requirement for outboard motors was discontinued.
If you still have some TC2-W outboard motor oil, it can still be used in a motor from 1992 or before. If you choose to use TC2-W oil in an older motor, Evinrude recommends addition of a product such as Carbon Guard to lessen carbon deposit formation. Be aware, however, that using TCW-2 oil in a motor that requires TCW-3 oil will void your warranty should any oil-related malfunction occur.