Accidents happen out on the open water – whether they owe to operational error or forces beyond our control. Either way, nobody’s perfect. If you operate a small craft such as a dinghy or perhaps an inflatable boat, chances are you’ve dropped an outboard motor into Davy Jones’ locker.
Small vessels – especially inflatables – ride low in the water, which means there’s very little room between the engine and the murky depths. One false move, and that motor takes an unwanted plunge. But resuscitating an outboard motor isn’t rocket science. In fact, you don’t even need to be a trained professional to bring that engine back to life.
If you dropped the engine in salt water, begin resuscitation by washing it thoroughly with fresh water. Next, remove the primer hose and spark plugs. Disconnect the rubber plug from the cylinder head. Begin draining water from the engine by laying it on its back and cranking the motor as many times as needed. Turn the engine upright and add one tablespoon of quality fuel/oil mix – Yamalube 2m oil does the trick nicely – into each spark plug hole.
Flush the carburetor by squeezing the primer bulb a few times. You’ll need to jettison all the moisture from the engine’s electrical components. Try some WD-40 or other de-watering fluid. Finally, reconnect the rubber plug on top of the cylinder head and restart your engine. Keep it running for a sustained period of time, say 30 minutes, to ensure that it’s working properly.