Get ready for the water!

There are some important checks you need to do before you are ready for the water. Especially, regarding your outboard engine.


  • Clean or replace spark plugs. Replace them if over 2 years old.
  • Check and clean all electrical contacts. Use WD40 or similar.
  • Check condition of recoil start cord for wear. This becomes worn during each season.
  • Replace the fuel filters and check the entire fuel system for leaks etc. Do not skip this step!
  • Change engine oil and filters (4 strokes). Also essential that you do this each season.
  • Empty fuel/oil tank and replace with new mixture(2 strokes). Old fuel will cause you major problems.
  • Check gearbox oil and top up if needed. Water can by pass rubber seals and contaminate your oil.
  • Replace cooling system anodes. These prevent corrosion within your water units.
  • Replace water pump impellor. This wears out fairly quickly and needs to be replaced.
  • Check steering system and lubricate moving parts. Will make daily use a lot easier for you.
  • Lubricate gear shift and  throttle control linkages. Use the correct lubricant.
  • Check operation of tilt mechanism (power tilt if fitted). Sometimes overlooked by boat owners.

If you can work your way through this list and complete each stage, you will have a trouble free season with your engine.

Remember to carry some spares and lubricant with you each trip as back up.


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.


Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas!

Hopefully, you have all got everything organised to make your Christmas celebrations go well. Also, that you have dropped enough hints to friends and family as to what to get you for the forthcoming boating season!

Please use the holiday period to relax and recharge your batteries before you return in the new year to all those things that need doing. Which leads me neatly onto your new years list. Start writing your new year to-do list over the holidays. At this stage it could just be a wish list. In other words a list of all the things you would want to complete this year. Once you have written your wish list, take another look at it and get realistic!

How many of the things on your list can you really achieve this coming year? So score off the impossible ones. Then look at the rest and try and identify when it would be possible to complete them. Some could be done in January; some in February etc. Try and spread each job over a period of weeks and months so you are not left with too much to do before the season starts.

The best way to organise this would be a timetable of activities to complete. Be realistic and allow enough time to do each job to a good standard. Or if you need a professional to do it allow them time as well. Make a note to phone and book the job for a convenient time for you and the professional. At this point try and get a quote for doing the job – this will allow you time to save money for it if this is required.

Jobs like servicing the engine(s) can be expensive – so booking a service for the first week in April will give you 4 months to put aside money to meet the bill! On this topic of money – look for the time and place of the next nearest Boat Jumble – so you can plan a visit with your boating list. There will be loads of things you can pick up cheaply at the Boat Jumble that would cost a lot more in the Chandlers shop.

If you have been lucky enough to be given a boating present that needs to be installed on the boat, this is the time to plan its’ installation.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas to think about during the holidays. Once again I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Winterising your engine.

Whether you lift out your boat at the end of the season or keep it afloat, you should make your engine ready for the winter. If you have an outboard engine either as the main engine or one for the tender, it will need attention right now! Before any damage can be done. There are a few steps to take to make your outboard ready for the winter lay up –

  1. Wash the outboard motor with fresh water – by flushing it through while it is running, then cleaning it on the outside.
  2. Thoroughly dry the engine with an old dry cloth, to remove as much moisture as possible.
  3. Remove the Spark plug(s) and insert and oily cloth in the hole(s).
  4. Clean or replace the Spark plugs.
  5. If their is any fuel left in the engine – drain it off.
  6. Use lubrication spray such as WD40 on all moving parts.
  7. Grease the tilt mechanism, gear change lever, throttle and prop shaft.
  8. If it has a pull cord – check for wear and replace if required.
  9. If the outboard has a separate fuel tank – drain it or use it in another engine.
  10. Store your outboard upright on a secure bracket in a dry place away from extreme cold.

If you follow the above steps your outboard will be prepared for the cold winter weather and will not deteriorate with non use.



Christmas Gifts for Practical Boat Owners 2010.

Christmas 2010 gifts for every practical boat owner should be not only useful but real value for money. The type of gifts that are really useful are those that need replaced each season. Items like a Log Book, Tide tables and charts all need up dating each year. However, most of us also like gifts that are unique and perhaps high tech. Marine GPS systems are getting more compact and powerful, so some of us would like one for a Christmas gift!

Practical boat owners also appreciate tools both hand and power that can make life a bit more easier when doing the annual maintenance. During the winter that little tool that was given as a present at Christmas can prove very useful! Even reading about ways to improve your vessel is interesting, so not only books but nowadays, cds and dvds are a really great Christmas present.

Two years into this recession means that most boat owners are used to making every penny count. Value for money in gifts for the family and friends is important. But that does not mean that the funny and silly Christmas gifts need to be ignored! Making someone laugh when they realise what they have unwrapped on Christmas morning is a great tonic for these difficult times.

So if you want to see what the top Christmas gifts for practical boat owners are for 2010, then click here.