Flush Outboard - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-27-2014 Thread Starter
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Flush Outboard

I have a friend with a 15-20 HP Mercury outboard on her 26' Pearson.
She would like to flush with fresh water but I've never seen that done in the water.

The only way to get it out of the water is to tip it up.
I don't think they like to run tipped up even if I can get water to it.

I have heard of the bucket over the prop and leg trick then fill with fresh as you let it down but that would definitely require at least two people and may not work.

Any appropriate way to do this in the water?
Also I have heard that it is good to flush with some kind of salt cleaner and doubt if that would be allowed in the water.

This motor is a monster over 100 lbs, I'm not lifting it myself that is for sure.

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-27-2014
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-27-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

They make a set of ear muffs that go over the water intakes on both sides of the leg that you attach a garden hose to...turn on the water and start engine...
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-28-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

If you don't have access to tap-water (eg. you're on a mooring), the bucket trick is the usual way to do it.

If you're on your own and don't want to tip the engine up to run it, you can sink the bucket, pull it under the leg, use a small manual (or electric I guess) bilge pump to suck the water out and refill with fresh before starting it. It's a lot of messing around though - especially given that you'll need to tip it up after you've run it to (a) get the bucket out and (b) make sure the leg doesn't hit salt water again.

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post #5 of 12 Old 09-29-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

I think it would be a lot easier to figure out a way to lift the motor out of the water, than to figure out how to flush the motor while it is in the water.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-29-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

Seems like a 2-stroke wouldn't care which way it was so long as the fuel could run downhill. A 4-stroke might have issues with oil running up. Though I might be missing something.

But anyway, if those ear things make a watertight seal as designed I don't see any reason you couldn't tilt the engine back down with the earmuffs on and still feed it with fresh water.

Another alternative would be to open the drain valve on the block to drain the salt water.

And another idea would be to backfeed the water outlet where the engine sprays while running. On my little 3.3 this is just a rubber tube and it wouldn't be hard to connect another hose too it to do this. If you also open the block drain plug you should be able to flush the block pretty effectively this way. Though the path up from the impeller might be missed.
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-29-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

Cheeze and Rice, man. 20hp outboard on a P26? That's a bit overkill.
I had a Honda 9.9 on my Coronado 25, which is only 800lbs. lighter, and the 9.9 was overkill for that boat.

Tell your friend to buy a Tohatsu 8hp, 2-stroke, long shaft and get rid of that monster.

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-29-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

A 20hp engine on that boat is a complete waste of weight/money.

That aside. however, there is a relatively simple method that I have used on the 15hp engine on our dinghy many times. Tilt the motor up and pull a lawn and leaf bag over it. Then, lower the motor back into the water, holding the bag in place with a couple of strips of tape. Then, sink a 36 to 40 gallon trash can and float that over to the engine, shove it down and then pull it up over the the drive, pull it up so that the rim is just above the water level and use a couple of lines to the transom to hold it in place. Than stick a garden hose into the lawn/leaf bag and start filling it up. As th bag fills with fresh water it will displace the water in the trash can that will spill out over the rim. When filled the lawn/leaf bag will press against the sides of the trash can. Fire the motor up and let it idle (do not put it in gear!). After five minutes or so, shut the engine down and slowly tilt it up which will push the trash can/lawn-leaf bag away where it/they can be pushed down out of the way of the engine. Tilt the engine up and rinse the drive off with fresh water and recover the trash can/lawn-leaf bag and you're done.

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post #9 of 12 Old 09-29-2014
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Re: Flush Outboard

Still recommend the flush adapter the way the factory designed to do it and keep your warranty intact

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post #10 of 12 Old 09-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Flush Outboard

If the muff type flush adapter is what the manual recommends, still looking for it, would it work to put the muffs on then:

1. Run the motor tipped up (not sure I can start it that way as it is in a well and worried about oil)
2. Let the motor down in the saltwater with the muffs and hose underwater?

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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