Prevention is Worth a Ton of Cure with Outboard Motors
Bob McNally 06.07.16
Own a boat long enough, and you can’t avoid at least some common mechanical pitfalls. Most are simple outdoor headaches easily and quickly dealt with. Others are more involved, and in the extreme can lead to dangerous situations.
With boats and motors a little prevention is worth a ton of cure (often measured in gold). So it makes sense to get sage advice in taking care of a fishing boat, especially its motor. Often just a few simple practices can help prevent costly repairs.
“Like tilting a 4-stroke outboard motor at 45 degrees when it’s stored on a trailer or boat lift,” says Jeff Reedy, owner of Isle of Palms of Green Cove Springs, Florida, and a master technician for Yamaha Outboard Motors. “Stowing a motor vertical is just fine for a 2-stroke motor because a 2-stroke outboard has its oil mixed in the gas, so there isn’t an issue.”
But if a 4-stroke motor is stored for some duration in the down or running position, oil can drain from its reservoir down toward the rings and cylinders. This causes excessive smoking when an engine is started, and over time may cause motor damage.
So tilt a 4-stroke outboard on a boat that will not be running for a while.
Also, use fresh fuel from a gas supplier that sells a lot of the liquid gold, so it isn’t stored in commercial underground tanks for long duration. And owners of outboard-powered boats are wise to use non-ethanol fuel.