Keep Your Motor Running

Published: Fall 2013

If you're a powerboater, then the engine's where it's at: Try some of these tips to keep things running smoothly.

Change The Zincs

Photo of zincs

Sacrificial zincs in an engine, on a prop nut, rudder, or thruster are easy to inspect and important to maintain. Important because when dissimilar metals underwater are brought into electrical contact, galvanic corrosion occurs and these zincs act as the sacrificial lamb protecting the engine, driveline, and other metal parts. Check your owner's manual to know where your zincs are located, and how to change them. Carry spares.


Photo of a vinyl flushing bag

Cooling System Cleanout

Getting less water than usual out of your outboard's cooling water telltale? Try cleaning the outflow with a piece of heavy monofilament fishing line. Slide it up and down the tube and work it back and forth. If the flow doesn't improve, and you're sure the intake isn't clogged, it may be time to replace the water pump.


Photo of hose protectors

Protect Those Hoses

Avoid using auto-parts store "dry gas" potions in your fuel. Many contain methanol, which can shorten the life of engine hoses.


Photo of an outboard prop

Vibrating Outboard Diagnostics

When your outboard begins to vibrate excessively, chances are it's either a damaged prop or a bent prop shaft. If there's no damage to the prop, and it's securely attached, try a spare prop and see if it makes a difference. If it still vibrates, remove the prop and spin the shaft by hand with the engine in neutral. If it wobbles, it's bent and probably needs to be replaced.




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