Launching Your Boat

boat launch

When launching your boat, whether at a conventional boat launch or in a less trafficked location without a boat launch, there are a few precautions to take before you start boating. First you will want to check the boat motor oil and fuel levels to ensure you have enough of both. Second you will want to inspect your propeller whether you use an outboard motor or an internal. In case you have boated recently, also check the hull of your boat for invasive plant species, this is pertinent for lakes and contained bodies of water.

After you have launched your boat, a few handy items to have for boating include a boat hook, a rope to tie off at docks, and a small dingy or inflatable craft should there be an emergency.

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Outboard Motors

outboard motor boat

I was thinking about buying a boat, but I didn’t really know where to start. I knew that I wanted something fast and spiffy. But I also wanted something that was mechanically sound. A friend of mine told me a priority in buying a boat is to make sure it has a good outboard motor. I had no idea what this meant.

After doing a little online research I realized that outboard motors are so important because they provide steering control for the boat. Outboard motors can be found on most all boats. Just like any motor, outboard motors need oil. It turns out my friend has always used evinrude outboard oil for his boat, so I decided that’s what I would use whenever I found my boat.

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Fashion penguins


If you’ve ever seen a picture of a penguin running around in a hand-knitted sweater and thought it was just dog sweaters to the extreme, think again – these sweaters serve a legitimate purpose. Penguins are dressed in the brightly-colored sweaters after an oil spill to keep them from preening and to keep them warm.

The sweaters are knit from volunteers around the world, and placed on penguins that have been doused in the slick oil, so that they can’t ingest it when they preen themselves. Sweaters are also placed on the penguins that have had the oil cleaned and scrubbed off of them, because the detergents strip away the natural oils penguins produce to keep warm.

So next time you’re disposing of your boat motor oil, do it in a safe way. One quart may not equal an oil spill, but every little drop can be harmful to the environment.

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The difference between synthetic and organic oil

oil pump

Whether you should be using synthetic or organic oil in for your outboard motor oil is really a matter of personal preference. Both will serve the engine well, and have their own strengths and weaknesses. Here are some of the differences between synthetic and organic motor oil:

Organic oil is extracted from crude oil during the refining process, and may maintain some impurities. Synthetic oil is artificially made from other compounds, and includes specially designed performance enhancing additives.

Synthetic oil has several advantages over regular, such as a high viscosity index, a higher flash point, lower pour point, and very low volatility. But, synthetic oil is more expensive and in more limited quantities than organic oil. Most agree that synthetic oil is a better choice, but not as many choose it because it can be three to four times pricier.

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Preparing your outboard motor for winter

outboard motorAs autumn ushers in the cold weather that can be destructive to outboard motors, boat owners should think about the steps it takes to prepare their vessels for winter. The first step in getting an outboard motor ready for the winter is to remove all remaining gas from the carburetor – either by adding a gas stabilizer and running the engine until it dies, or draining and storing the gas for next season. Once the gas has been emptied, it’s safe to remove the motor and begin draining and refilling the lower gear unit.

Old gear lubricant should be drained from the lower gear unit and replaced with fresh lubricant to prevent rusting, freezing or breakage. The spark plugs should also be replaced when preparing an outboard motor for winter. Once they’ve been removed, an aerosol commercial fogger should be sprayed into the spark plug hole to prevent the piston and cylinder walls from corroding. After fogging the cylinder, rotate the engine flywheel to distribute the outboard motor oil on the cylinder walls, and finish with new spark plugs.

And even though the gas has been drained from the motor, the fuel filter should be removed and cleaned to drain any remaining trapped gas. If these preparative steps are taken every year, your motor should be running smoothly when spring rolls around.

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What is the EPA?

marine engine oil

The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is known as the EPA or sometimes USEPA. It is a federal governmental agency whose mission is to protect human health and take care of the natural environment, specifically air, water, and land. The EPA was the idea of President Richard Nixon and began operation in 1970, when it became solely responsible for United States environmental policy. It employs from 17,000-18,000 people, including engineers, scientists, environmental protection experts, and divisions specializing in law, public relations, financial matters, and computer specialists. The agency performs environmental assessment, research and education and is responsible for designation and enforcement of national standards while following various environmental laws in cooperation with state, tribal, and local government. The EPA allows some permissions and enforcement to be granted to individual U. S. sates and Native American tribes. EPA enforcement powers include sanctions, fines, and other measures. The EPA also works with all levels of government and various industries in voluntary measures to conserve energy and reduce the effects of pollution. Prior to the EPA’s existence, the federal government was not capable of the monumental task of regulating pollutants which caused harm to humans and the environment, so the EPA was given the task of repairing some existing environmental damage retroactively as well as establishing new criteria to promote the participation of America’s citizens in the making of a safer and cleaner country.

Part of the EPA’s job is to prevent oil pollution by regulating containment, promoting spill prevention, and approve of marine engine oil components to ensure they are as environmentally friendly as possible.

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Two-Cycle Oil Certification

Yamaha 2m oilYamalube oils are of such high quality that they often end up used as the standard test oil for many of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) TC-W3® certifications. The long-term goals of the two-cycle outboard boating engine industry have been to reduce emissions from oil that has passed through engines, developing a quality of oil that reduces the necessary ratio of oil to fuel, and ultimately prolonging the life of the engine. When these goals are achieved, emissions are significantly reduced, which satisfies or exceeds EPA requirements. There are also less warranty and maintenance issues with customers in the long run. TC-W3® lubricant is an NMMA owned trademark. Evolving through the years with the help of exhaustive testing and research, it has not only proven to be the level of lubrication performance quality required, but has consistently exceeded EPA emissions reduction requirements as two-cycle outboard engines have moved toward higher cylinder temperatures and compressions and increasingly demanding conditions. NMMA sanctions only two cycle lubricants that meet or exceed stringent regulations in their own designated laboratories. Tests include a variety of performance-based measurements for fluidity, lubricity, viscosity, carbon buildup on engine pistons, and ring sticking. The chemical makeup of the TC-W3® oils vary due to the unique additive packages incorporated into each individual oil brand. TC-W3® oils are recognized worldwide as being recommended for use by two cycle oil makers.

Yamaha 2m oil is a NNMA TC-W3® approved 2 cycle oil formulated for extreme performance and the most grueling conditions your outboard motor will face. It surpasses the TC-W3® requirements for outboard motor oil formulations, preventing varnish and wear, providing maximum rust and corrosion protection, and is versatile, appropriate for extended full-throttle, extended trolling, or everyday operation use. Since Yamaha 2m oil is formulated especially for outboard motors, it is not recommended for WaveRunner or sport boats.

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Coast Guard Contains Oil Leak off California Coast

marine engine oil

Coast Guard and California Department of Fish and Game officials responded to an emergency Monday morning that involved a leak of marine engine oil into Humboldt Bay, Calif., just inside of the Pacific Coast.

The leak came from a large wooden-hull boat tied to a dock in the town of Fields Landing. Coast Guard and Fish and Game officials were on the scene in roughly 30 minutes to contain the spillage, which involved the use of absorbent pads and a diver being sent down to patch up the source of the leak.

Officials said they had the situation under control and damage to the bay was kept at a minimum, though residents said they noticed a rainbow-colored sheen on the surface of the water. Authorities said the effects on the area’s wildlife were not clear. The name of the owner of the boat was not released.

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Change Your Oil, Protect the Environment

motor oil

The amount of motor oil used in a simple car oil change can contaminate up to one million gallons of water if improperly disposed of. Even still, an estimated 185 million gallons of used motor oil each year is dumped on the ground, poured down storm drains and thrown in the trash. This is why it’s important to know how to dispose of your motor oil after changing it.

You can not only help the environment by doing this, but you can also conserve resources. Take your used oil and filter to the used oil collection center nearest you, and you’ll be doing Mother Nature a huge favor. If your community doesn’t have a used oil collection center, check for an alternative location. These are often found at lube-and-tune centers, repair shops and dealerships.

The US Department of Energy recently determined that over 80 percent of used motor oil that comes as a result of do-it-yourself activities – including oil changes – is improperly disposed of.

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