News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Cruising Int Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Five simple checks to troubleshoot your outboard
Five simple checks to troubleshoot your outboard

'Outboard - why the &%$@ won’t it start?'    .

You may know how to sail brilliantly, but that doesn't mean that you can solve problems with the outboard motor on your dinghy or tender, particularly if you are mechanically challenged. Here are five common problems and simple fixes which might get you back home one day(if you're a natural Mr/Ms Fixit, skip this story):

1.) Motor completely dead, won’t start:

If it is completely dead and you believe that the battery should have at least a little charge in it, here are some checks:
a. Make sure the throttle is in neutral
b. Is the ignition switch loose? This could be the problem, and is easily remedied by tightening the screws.
c. Do you have a 'battery selector switch?' - make sure it is turned to 'on'.
d. Is there a 'kill switch'? check that it is not disconnected.

2.) Dying boat battery:
If a boat grinds in trying to start, but the battery quickly withers and dies, at least you know the battery connections are making some contact. Still, check wire leads from the motor to the battery, and tighten them, since running bumpy water often can loosen battery lug nuts.

If lugs/nuts are corroded heavily, scrape off gunk with a knife or screwdriver (wire brush is best), and wipe clean. Check the connections again for tightness, and if possible spray on oil like WD40 to battery terminals to improve conductivity.

3.) Dead cranking battery:
The battery is cranking okay but the motor won't start. Trade it with another on-board 'hot' battery that may be used for an electric motor or other electronics. A set of battery cables is valuable boating equipment, and they may be used for 'jumping' a dead cranking battery with a charged one, even from another boat if you can summon on-the-water help.
Another possible solution to a dead battery may be a burned-out fuse. Know where boat fuses are located.

4.) Fouled propeller:
It's so easy to get a fishing line wrapped around a boat motor propeller, no matter the size of type of the motor. Monofilament line is bad enough, and fine, braided line is even worse. Line can work deeply into a propeller seal, and ruin a motor. So get it out soon, and thoroughly. Sometimes simply pulling on an end of a fishing line removes it from a propeller. The motor may need to be put in 'neutral' for a prop to spin freely as line is pulled.

With most weeds, even tough-stem bulrushes and pads, normally they can be removed by hand after a motor has been hauled up to expose its prop. However, occasionally fouled weeds or line are well out of reach of people in a boat. If you can reach shore, work the motor into the shallows, get out and remove fouled material.

In deep, open water, it may be easiest to free a big motor propeller from in the water. While wearing a life preserver, ease overboard and have a look at the prop.

5.) Engine overheats:
Never ignore this, as you can overheat and ruin an otherwise perfectly good engine. Check the water intake on the motor near the propeller. Usually it’s just weeds or it could be a plastic bag blocking water flow.

Occasionally, especially on smaller outboards, the water outflow nozzle at the bottom-rear of the cowling can become plugged, and must be opened for clean water flow.

This and the intake ports can be cleared of debris with heavy single-gauge wire (number 14 electrical) or even with heavy monofilament line (50 to 100 pound test).


by Des Ryan

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=100675

12:09 AM Mon 6 Aug 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Practical

Related News Stories:

06 Aug 2012  Cruising spinnakers made easy - hoist from cockpit
03 Aug 2012  Product of the Week: The Sailchute
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
25 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: A radar reflector for your grab bag
02 Jul 2012  Five knots you can't leave home without!
01 Jul 2012  Product of the Week: Occasional solar power
30 Jun 2012  Looking after the timber on your sailing boat
18 Jun 2012  Five bits of gear I wish I'd known about before I left to go cruising
05 Jun 2012  Product of the Week: Tide Application for iPads
03 Jun 2012  Product of the Week: Self-fit terminals
MORE STORIES ...






Cruising USA







Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,








How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,








Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,




















Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know? by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,












Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world by Asia News Network/Sail-World Cruising,








3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters by Haemus/Sail-World Cruising,


Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?
Health benefits of sailing
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising
Halyard Tension - a video
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power
Researcher examines 'current leaks' that may change the way you sail
Paris off to attempt to circumnavigate the world again   
Need a tow from that helicopter? - watch the video and don't laugh   
Certain oil spill products shown to be ineffective and toxic + Video   
The Constrictor: a powerful 'Queen' of sailing knots!   
Boat painting - simple but best tips   
'It's never just one thing' - Swedish sailors rescued   
Cruising Club of America celebrates outstanding sailors of 2013   
Book of the Week: From the Galley of...   
Two brave women to sail India to Oman across Arabian Sea   
Rhode Island's Classic Yacht Symposium - Registration opens   
Bad Karma as roving American cruising sailor fined in New Zealand   
Another rescue for second-time unlucky solo sailor   
New York to San Fran record attempt - Maserati reaches the Horn   
Finally the book:HMS Bounty, Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy   
Yachts impounded in Mexico - the agony goes on...   
Students achieve robot boat Atlantic Crossing - but not as planned   
Endurance Award for cruising sailors, new worldwide award for 2014   
It's coming. Dodgers/biminis to be solar power producers   
New Maldives rule - yachts can stay six months   
Unmanned tsunami boat takes three years to reach Taiwan   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL WAS Cru USA