Saltwater Sportsman - - Table Of Contents / Departments - By Capt. Dave Lear A lit­tle prep en­ables the quick fixes that keep you from get­ting stranded.

Fish­ing-trip check­lists never in­clude a com­puter loaded with en­gine di­ag­nos­tic soft­ware like the ones ser­vice tech­ni­cians use to trou­bleshoot a can­tan­ker­ous out­board. De­spite the dig­i­tal cir­cuitry, so­phis­ti­cated sen­sors and sys­tem bun­dles in to­day’s mo­tors, you don’t al­ways have to call a tow­ing com­pany when your en­gine gives you trou­ble. There are some pro­ce­dures sim­ple enough for any­one to per­form to get back up and run­ning.

“It’s tough for a boat owner to trou­bleshoot prob­lems on to­day’s fuel-in­jected fourstrokes,” says Kenny My­ers, a mas­ter tech­ni­cian at Par­adise Ma­rine, a fac­tory-au­tho­rized ser­vice cen­ter for Yamaha, Suzuki and Honda out­boards in Gulf Shores, Alabama. “For elec­tri­cal is­sues, there’s not much to do other than change out the spark plugs, but most prob­lems are prob­a­bly re­lated to fuel.”

My­ers says en­gine alarms will sound or il­lu­mi­nate and shut down the en­gine be­fore wa­ter in the fuel passes into the sys­tem. He rec­om­mends car­ry­ing a spare fuel-wa­tersep­a­ra­tor fil­ter on board, along with quart-size Zi­ploc bag­gies. Most out­board man­u­fac­tur­ers rec­om­mend 10-mi­cron fil­ters for the best pro­tec­tion. If the fil­ter has a clear bowl and drain, the wa­ter can be si­phoned into the bag­gie and stored to be prop­erly dis­posed of later. The fil­ters may have to be cleared of wa­ter a cou­ple of times to purge the sys­tem. Most fuel-in­jected en­gines will reprime au­to­mat­i­cally be­fore restart­ing, My­ers says.

Per­form a visual in­spec­tion on fuel-wa­ter fil­ters, and run a hand over the base hous­ing and the fil­ter can­is­ter to check for rust or cor­ro­sion. “The bilge is moist, and salt spray causes rust. I see it all the time, and it can be a ma­jor fire hazard,” My­ers says. He rec­om­mends chang­ing fil­ters ev­ery 50 hours of

If you keep up with your out­board main­te­nance, the trou­bles you are most likely to ex­pe­ri­ence on the wa­ter only call for mi­nor re­pairs. Keep the en­gine man­ual on board for quick trou­bleshoot­ing, and a hand­ful of ba­sic tools and spare parts to get the job done.

run­ning time as a pre­cau­tion, and at 100 hours re­gard­less.

My­ers also rec­om­mends car­ry­ing a set of spark plugs; spares for any other en­gine fuel fil­ters; a ¼- or ⅜-inch socket set with an ex­ten­sion; a con­vert­ible screwdriver with straight, Phillips and Torx heads; side cut­ters; and Vice Grip pliers.

“You’d be sur­prised what you can hold with a pair of Vice Grips,” My­ers adds. Some Yamaha fil­ters re­quire a spe­cial wrench, which can be pur­chased from a dealer. My­ers says they are not ex­pen­sive and serve for rou­tine main­te­nance and emer­gency re­pairs. The coil packs may need to be removed to change some spark plugs. They’re se­cured by met­ric screws, so check to see if spe­cial fit­tings are re­quired for those.

A stiff wire brush to clear cor­ro­sion off bat­tery ter­mi­nals and ca­bles, a few spare bat­tery con­nec­tors and fuses, zip ties for hoses and elec­tri­cal bun­dles, elec­tri­cal and duct tape, and anti-cor­ro­sion spray to free cor­roded bolts should also be part of the boat’s stan­dard gear. A cou­ple of quarts of en­gine oil come in handy if you need to add some out on the wa­ter. A spare pro­pel­ler or a re­place­ment-hub kit, plus the ap­pro­pri­ate thrust wash­ers, ex­tra cot­ter pins and lock wash­ers save the day if a prop is spun. And don’t for­get to in­clude a prop wrench and a tube of wa­ter­proof grease.

“It’s hard for the doit-your­selfer to do much be­yond ba­sic fluid and sim­ple part changes on dig­i­tal four-strokes,” adds Jay Wiss­man, a ser­vice ad­vi­sor for the Ma­rine Max deal­er­ship in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. “The de­signs are much more com­pli­cated than the car­bu­reted twostrokes. Many of the parts, like on the Ver­a­dos, are sealed or can only be checked with com­puter di­ag­nos­tics.”

Air fil­ters don’t fail that of­ten, but Wiss­man agrees it’s pru­dent to carry spare fuel fil­ters and spark plugs in case of prob­lems. “Fuel and spark are the two ma­jor cul­prits. It’s al­ways a good idea to check the con­nec­tions on wiring and fuel lines be­fore you start swap­ping out parts.”

Dig­i­tal elec­tron­ics and fuel in­jec­tion have made boat­ing and fish­ing less stress­ful. But an out­board that won’t crank or run prop­erly still ru­ins the day. Pre­vent po­ten­tial prob­lems by ser­vic­ing the en­gine reg­u­larly and avoid­ing ethanol fuel. Carry a tool kit and some key spare parts on board. And just in case, get a tow­ing ser­vice con­tract to cover all the bases.

3. 4. 2.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.