Boating is very popular among British people, and rightly so, as it offers quality leisure time with the family. Your outboard motor is an essential component of your vessel and aside from regular servicing, the motor should be inspected after your last voyage of the season. Like any complex piece of equipment, an outboard motor requires regular care and attention in order to perform at optimum levels, and with that in mind, here is a checklist to ensure the end of season service will protect the engine during a period of inactivity.
- Follow the Manufacturer’s Recommendation – As with any complex piece of machinery, you should always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when servicing the motor. The handbook will contain all the information you need to carry out essential maintenance tasks and if the unit is still under warranty, you are advised to have the motor serviced by the supplier. There is some further reading on the importance of following the manufacturer’s recommendations, which highlights the reasons why it makes sense to do so.
- Flush Out the Motor – This should be carried out after every voyage and it is especially important prior to the winter storage. This should be done using tap water, which will flush out any residue and remove the salt, which can corrode the motor over time. Simply attach a hose to the mounts on the motor and flush until the water is clean.
- Check the Water Pump – With the motor running, check the temperature of the water exiting the motor, which should be warm. If the water is hot, this is a sign that the water pump is not working efficiently, and the unit needs to be dismantled and cleaned. There are top quality mercury outboard motors from BBMS Swanwick, should you be looking to replace an ageing model, and they can easily be located with an online search.
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- Disconnect the Fuel Line – If you are going to store the engine for a few months, it is wise to disconnect the fuel line and remove any residue from the system. Just be sure to remember this when the next season comes around.
- Disconnect the Battery – Open the cowling and remove the battery terminals, making sure to clean off the terminals. Batteries can easily corrode if they are left connected for long periods, and it is best to store that battery in the garage.
- Pressure Clean the Motor – With the outer cowling removed, you can use a jet water cleaner to remove dirt and grease from the engine block. Be methodical about this and once you are satisfied that the motor is clean, put some lubricant on the loving parts that are visible.
- Cover the Motor with a Tarpaulin – It is important to protect the unit against the elements and by tying a sheet that completely covers the motor, you can be sure that no dirt or grime can enter.
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By following the above advice, your outboard motor should weather the winter time without any issues, and when you are ready to take the boat out next year, make sure you connect the battery and the fuel pipe before trying to start the unit.