by Tom Neale
Here are a few tips about survival with outboardsor
maybe I should say
survival of outboards, since most of us spend
so much time wishing we
could throw them overboard.
1. Most outboards have water pumps within the lower unit.
rubber impellors. These always fail eventually. They fail
if you run in a lot of silt or if you run without a full supply
to the pump. It isnt unusual for them to fail without
giving you much
warning. Any diminution of the water stream may be a clue.
These can be
very difficult to replace. On many motors you must separate
of the lower unit from another to get access. If you loosen
bolt or drop the shaft too far, you may disengage the drive
gear shift mechanism. Putting it all back together can be
difficult. Learn how to change out the impellor and fittings
motor. Carry a spare pump assembly in your spare parts kit,
prepared to replace it (Youll probably have to have
the stern up to a
beach to do it.) But dont wait until your impellor goes
bad. This is a
job that is usually worth having done by a qualified repair
regular preventative maintenance.
2. Outboard motor oil is expensive enough in the states, but
two to four times more expensive in the islands. We buy it
carrying it in a 5 gallon container on deck. We fill the small
cans (with the clear white strip and ounce markings) from
this, so that
we can carry them with us in the dinghy.
3. It really pays to filter your gasoline fuel with a high
sediment/water separator filter. We use the Racor S 2502 and
elements frequently. In areas of questionable fuel, we filter
as we load it into the tanks with a Racor funnel filter.
4. Regularly drain the fuel from the bottom of the carburetor
If the drain screws are of a different metal from the bowl
probably are), beware that electrolysis may deteriorate the
screw or the
threads around the screw, even though you have only a small
water in the bottom of the bowl. Do not buy an outboard without
carburetor bowl drainage.
5. If you use external outboard tanks (usually they are six
capacity), you can count on water from rain and spray eventually
its way in through the caps, vent, and/or hose fittings. Periodically
check the bottom of the tank when its empty. If theres
look like grey sludge), turn the tank upside down and drain
container. There will still be a little that wont come
out. Sop it out
with rags or paper towels. Dispose of it legally and carefully.
will be explosive fumes.