Basic Outboard Maintenance: Part Five

We still have at least of few weeks of boating season left, but I figured it was important to discuss how to winterize and prepare your outboard motor for storage. It’s essential to take the proper precautions when  to ensure it starts up easily next spring. Before your last outing of the season, add some fuel conditioner to your mix of fuel and Evinrude XD 100 oil.

Always drain the system of all the gas and oil before putting the boat into storage, as the fuel will go bad if it just sits for months. If your lower unit calls for periodic lubrication changes, this is the time to do it. Look over the entire motor to ensure all of the bolts and fittings are in place and taut. Finally, put the motor in a dry place and keep it well covered, as small animals love to nest up in the crevices during the winter.

Did you like this? Share it:

Basic Outboard Maintenance: Part Four

One of the most perilous times for your boat is the transfer from dry land to the water. This often involves a lengthy drive and being in reverse when the end of your trailer is over 20 feet away. Particularly when you’re backing your boat, the motor is extremely susceptible, so it’s imperative to take some precautionary measures to make sure your boat makes it into the water in one piece.

First, always make sure your vessel is topped off with fuel and outboard motor oil before you reach the marina. When backing the boat towards the water, always have a spotter outside the boat to guide you. If you are unfamiliar with launching your boat, it’s a good idea to take some dry runs in the driveway before you try the real thing. Use your mirrors as you are reversing, moving the steering wheel in the direction you want the back to go.

Did you like this? Share it:

Basic Outboard Maintenance: Part Three

Yesterday we went over some basic post-outing maintenance, which is essential to keep your engine running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. But for longevity, you’ll want to also go through a more extensive maintenance routine periodically. I do this routine about once a month during the season and when putting my boat in and taking it out of storage.

First, check the fuel and Yamaha 2M oil in the tank to ensure there isn’t any water in it; actually, I do this before and after each outing. Inspect the fuel line for any cracks or signs of wear and corrosion. The fuel primer bulb obviously should not have any cracks, and it should also feel pliable. Examine the fuel tank for damage and ensure the tank vent is aspirating properly.

Did you like this? Share it:

Basic Outboard Maintenance: Part Two

Immediately following every outing you should run through a short checklist to ensure your motor wasn’t damaged and will be ready for your next outing. The first line of business is to flush the engine. For this you’ll need a set of rabbit ears, which is a pair of rubber hoses connected by a metal clamp. The apparatus slips on to the lower unit where you can attach the garden hose.

When you’re flushing the engine, ensure that the water flowing through the system isn’t hot. If the water is hot or the flow is weak, it’s an indication that some debris is blocking the system. You can easily remove the blockage by inserting a small piece of wire into the flow tube. Once the engine has been flushed, spray down everything with some lubricant. Finish by topping off your tank with a mixture of fuel and Evinrude XD100.

Did you like this? Share it:

Basic Outboard Maintenance: Part One

The vast majority of outboard motor problems are easily preventable with proper care and routine maintenance. Flushing the engine after six hours of boating isn’t fun, but it will help you keep your engine performing in peak condition and extend its longevity. Although motor maintenance is a chore, it’s easy for virtually anyone with a tool kit.

Over the next couple of days, we’ll be covering some basic preventative care that should be done after every outing. We’ll also discuss some of the keys for long-term care, how to prepare the motor for storage, and some tips for protecting the unit during transportation. And we’ll go over the basics, including how to select and mix your outboard motor oil properly.

Did you like this? Share it:

Ole Evinrude: Father of the Outboard Motor

Ole Evinrude was born in Norway’s capital city of Oslo in 1877 but immigrated to the US with his family five years later. During his adolescence, Ole was sent to work in machinery stores and to teach himself engineering. He evolved into a machinist and worked at various firms around the Midwest.

Ole went into business for himself in 1900, and by 1907, he had built the first outboard motor. That original model was forged from brass and steel with a crank to get the two-cycle engine going. The business’ growth was steady after the conception of the motor until 1919, when Ole improved on his design, sold his stake in the old company and started anew. The Evinrude name has reached legendary proportions in the boating industry, and you’ll still find it plastered on everything for two-cycle motors to Evinrude XD100 oil.

Did you like this? Share it:

Fate Favors the Prepared Boater

As you can probably imagine, I’m always a little over prepared whenever I take my boat out. And the ironic thing is that the ones who are prepared usually aren’t the ones who need the extra supplies out at sea. In fact, I’ve definitely stopped and assisted boaters more times than I’ve had trouble on the water myself. Just last weekend my son and I had to take a quick break from our bass fishing in order to give a family some assistance.

You could tell the guy hadn’t owned a boat long, as the license stickers still had their showroom sheen. It was evident that his wife was more than a little peeved. The boat was just bobbing along and the engine was sputtering, so my son and I coasted over, and I told him to cut the engine. After asking him a few questions I was quickly able to diagnose the problem; he hadn’t mixed any outboard motor oil with the fuel and the unit for overheating. Since I always have extra two-cycle oil on board, I gave him some and showed him how to mix it safely.

Did you like this? Share it:

Basic Maintenance for Your ATV

As much as I love boating, ATVing  takes up just as much of time during the summer. A few years ago my sons and I built a dirt track in a backyard—it’s more like a three-acre lot. We have four ATVs now, and there’s no way that I can handle all of the maintenance myself. So for the last couple of years, I’ve been educating my boys on the basic of ATV mechanics.

During the season you should inspect the vehicle regularly to ensure it’s safe to ride. Once a month, examine the brakes, carb, air cleaner, spark plugs and all of the nuts and bolts. Things like the fuel line and suspesnsion only need to be checked out once a year. And, of course, we can’t forget about the oil; I recommend changing the Yamalube 2S oil and the filter when you put your boat into storage, as the old oil will go bad when it sits idle.

Did you like this? Share it:

What Makes Some Synthetics Better?

When you’re buying oil and comparing Evinrude XD 100 and XD 50, do you really know what the difference is? The XD100 is more expensive, so it’s fairly obvious that it is superior in some way. Virtually all synthetics start with the same base structure, especially variants of the same manufacturer. The difference is in the additives.

Oils that are more expensive contain more additives, which enhance the performance of your engine. While standard grade oil will provide lubrication and protect your engine, premium oils work to eliminate ash, smoke and odor too. They also can improve the longevity of your motor.

Did you like this? Share it:

Who are the NMMA?

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) are a group of more than 1,400 companies which create the full gamut of boating products. From outboard motor oil to the vessels themselves, companies in the NMMA supply everything boaters need. The NMMA accounts for roughly 80 percent of all the marine products sold in North America each year.

The NMMA was formed when the BIA and NAEBM merged in 1979. Since its inception, the NMMA has been the premier boating organization in North America, creating many of the standards for the boating industry. They’re the ones who created and test for TC-W3 certification, of course. The goal of the NMMA, as outlined in their mission statement, is to provide the highest quality boating products while protecting and preserving the environment.

Did you like this? Share it: