Tips For The New Season
Article Date: January 1, 2010
Tips For The New Season
1. Have a comprehensive boat /motor diagnose performed before the season begins.
2. Check all safety and deck items before sailing: check the first aid kit, working fire extinguisher (check expiration date), number of life vest, horn, flares, flashlight, navigation/anchor lights, marine radio, navigation equipment, fenders and a good set of lines (ropes).
3. Review engines warning signals from your owner's manual. Verify the audible and visible warning features that operate at start (system check).
4. Prepare a tool box with spare parts and tools. For instance: fuses, fuel/water separator filter, spark plugs, extra propeller, cable ties, assortment of electrical terminals and electrical crimping pliers, long reach pliers, screw drivers…etc.
5. To avoid headaches and unwanted surprises perform a visual inspection of your boat and motor prior to launching. Take a mental picture of your boat and motor in good working condition. This image may help you solve a problem.
6. Only use marine grade engine oil, because it has corrosion inhibiting additives and proper protection in high rpm operation (ref. to your owner manual for grade).
7. Oil level measuring is different in outboard engines compared to automotive engines, because the cylinders are in a horizontal position. The engine must be tilted up for at least 5 minutes prior to checking the oil level. Any oil behind the cylinders will drain down to the oil pan.
8. Use an anti-ethanol additive on a continuous basis, unless you fuel at an ethanol Free marina.
9. Store your boats fuel tank approximately 7/8 full to minimize the amount of air space above the fuel inside the fuel tank. This will help prevent condensation.
10. Make sure you have a 10 micron water separating/fuel filter between the boat fuel tank and the engine.
11. Flush your engine with fresh water after every use. It is better to use the hose attachment on the side of the engine, because it introduces water to the power-head directly. Note, the side attachment was designed to be used with the engine off. In order to run the engine on a hose use the proper flush kit for the specific lower unit.
12. Attended corrosion in your boat. Make sure your zinc anodes are making good contact and replace when necessary. Use a coating product on hoses, wiring, and pumps after rinsing the boat with fresh water.
13. Today boats are highly battery dependable. Battery chargers are needed to maintain and condition a battery for a longer life. So, next time you are considering purchasing a charger look for the 3-stage feature (called Smart Charger).
14. For the new boat owners, new engines require a period of break-in to allow the matting surfaces of moving parts to wear-in evenly. Correct break-in will help ensure proper performance and longer engine life.
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