Planning for the new season.

Now is the time to plan for the new season. All those small jobs you wanted to complete last year could be done in the next few months. Begin by writing down everything you want to do. Start at the bow of your boat and work towards the stern. For most of us the engine will require either the most money thrown at it or the most time or even both!

Whether you have an inboard or outboard engine it will need a good thorough service before using it this coming season. With the recent increase in VAT everything is going to cost more. So looking for value for money products and services is now more vital than ever before. Spend some time doing your research before deciding to purchase a product or service.

On ebay there are various products and services that offer value for money. You can access them using this link to outboard motors.

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Accessories

Sometimes when you buy your outboard you really could do with some accessories. Whether it be a control box and cables to aid your handling of the boat, or some method of starting or charging the battery, you will find it in our store.  From maintenance items like oil or practical things like an outboard bracket, it will be in our store.  Perhaps you just want to know more about your engine and need a manual?  Chances are it will be for sale in our store! If you are regularly travelling quite a distance in your boat and need extended tanks, there are some available in our store.

Propellors are often getting damaged. A slight ding on a blade can reduce your engines efficiency and affect fuel consumption. It will be best to replace this damaged propellor with a prefect one.  Many are advertised in our store.

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Service your outboard!

With most of us having our boats ready for the water or already in the water, it is important to have a reliable outboard.  There is nothing more frustrating than having the outboard engine stop just when we need it!  Rarely, it is some unpredictable reason for it to fail.  Most of the time it is because we failed to do something to the outboard.  Either have it serviced or flush it with fresh water after a long run in seawater or whatever?  If we do not maintain the engine it will let us down.  Deep down we know it and some of us put off doing the right thing, for whatever reason.  But if you are out at sea you really need to know your engine is going to keep going because you have done everything possible to ensure it does.  Not giving your outboard motor a service before using it this season is false economy.  It may cost you more just trying to cut corners and not servicing it.

Elsewhere on this blog I mentioned getting your 4 stroke engine’s oil changed.  This is another routine thing to do.  It will help your engine run better and more reliably.  Modern 4 strokes tend to be smoother when idling than the older 2 strokes, although this will not be the case if they have not been maintained properly.  Take time to pamper your engine and it will respond, by keeping going when you need it most!

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4 Stroke outboard engine oil change.

4 stroke outboard engines need their oil changed. Unlike your old previous 2 stroke engines with an oil and petrol mixture, these newer 4 strokes need new oil at regular intervals. If you have a small outboard, say up to 4 horse power, then you should change the oil every 50 hours of running. For larger outboards you could go to 100 hours of running before changing the oil. If you don’t record how many hours your outboard has run, then change the oil at least once every year! New oil is needed by your outboard because the old oil degrades during engine use as it heats up and due to wear between the metals it collects metallic impurities and carbon from the combustion residue. Thats when it turns black! So change it and this will keep your outboard running longer and better efficient!

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Maintaining your outboard motor, cheaply of course!

Every outboard motor needs maintenance.  As a bare minimum you should service your outboard engine at the start of the season. You can probably do this servicing yourself, but if you prefer it can be done by a marine mechanic.  Remember, there are no hard shoulders out at sea, so you will depend on the outboard to get you back in, safely.  So it is important you must service the outboard!

Once the outboard engine has had its annual service you can do some tasks throughout the season to keep it in tip top condition.  If you can get into the routine of flushing the outboard after every use with freshwater, to clean the internal water ways, it will help prevent corrosion and clogging.  An easy to use piece of kit, called a flushing kit, is used to connect to a water hose and also to the water intake of the outboard.  If you run the engine in neutral for a few minutes it will clear any salt water, sand or grit in the engine cooling system.  Also check that as you are pumping water into the engine, that water is leaving via the exhaust!  This should be a constant stream of warm, not hot, water.

If you are not getting a constant stream then the cooling channels may be blocked, slightly.  You can use some thin wire to insert into the exit pipe and try to clear it.  If that does not produce the required flow then you may need a new water pump. 

When you have finished flushing the outboard motor, disconnect the fuel pipe or switch off the fuel;  this is to allow the remaining fuel to be used by the engine. Check all round the engine with the cowling off and see if there are any fuel or water leaks. Repair if you can or take to your marine mechanic. If everything is OK then spray the whole engine with either WD40 or Quick-Lube.  Make sure all moving parts are sprayed and they move easily.  Close the fuel vent tap.

If you keep you outboard on the boat rail between trips then buy or make a cover to protect the engine from the weather.

 

Has your outboard gone under water?
 
What you should do if your outboard engine goes under the water?  As quickly as possible, wash the outboard with freshwater all over, to get rid of  any saltwater. Saltwater in the engine will corrode the internal parts very quickly.  Then empty all fuel from the tank and fuel lines etc.  Take out the spark plugs and either clean and dry or replace them.  Look over the engine to see if there has been any grit or sand ingested.  Try and remove it or get the engine serviced.  If there is no grit or sand then you can begin to turn the engine over, by hand.  Crank it slowly by hand, this allows water to be expelled.  Try cranking it at different angles, even upside down. To ensure all the water has drained out.

Once you are sure you have no water in the engine you can flush the cylinders and crankcase with pure alcohol, this will absorb any remaining water droplets in the engine.  If you wash all the parts in hot soapy water and allow them to dry or use a hair dryer then you will need to coat them with oil, to protect them from rusting.  Assemble the engine, add the fuel and turn over the engine.  Try starting it, if it fires up then allow it to run with some throttle in a container filled with freshwater to allow the engine to cool as it should.. The outboard motor is now ready for use.

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