Flushing Outboards while on a Mooring? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-07-2008 Thread Starter
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Flushing Outboards while on a Mooring?

I bought this Cal 22 with a 4 stroke 9.9 hp- 2000 Yamaha Outboard. Now I have always been a fresh water sailer until now. I've got me a keel boat on a mooring. The other day the water pump was clogged. I've been told to flush the outboard after each use to clear out the salt water.

OK, but I'm on a mooring Duh! No fresh water available for flushing - Is it really necessary to flush after each use? What about the cruisers; how do they get away with it?

Confused - and hope I don't have to flush! Right now, the outboard is being service. Help!
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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you should flush every time, My Honda 8 HP has a flush adapter so,I use a bilge pump to feed fresh rain water to the motor, or I haul a 5 gallon jerry can full of fresh water. youll be glad you did. I can run my motor for about 4 mins on 5 gals of water so its better than nothing

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post #3 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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Originally Posted by deWild View Post
I bought this Cal 22 with a 4 stroke 9.9 hp- 2000 Yamaha Outboard. Now I have always been a fresh water sailer until now. I've got me a keel boat on a mooring. The other day the water pump was clogged. I've been told to flush the outboard after each use to clear out the salt water.

OK, but I'm on a mooring Duh! No fresh water available for flushing - Is it really necessary to flush after each use? What about the cruisers; how do they get away with it?

Confused - and hope I don't have to flush! Right now, the outboard is being service. Help!
You need to flush each time you go - and the procedure for doing it on the water has been covered already someplace here, but basically:

- Lift up the outboard
- Put an empty 5-gallon bucket over the leg and put the outboard back down (being careful not to sink the bucket)
- Fill said bucket with fresh water to just over the splash plate (again being careful not to sink the bucket)
- Start outboard in neutral and flush as usual.
- Lift up outboard and retrieve bucket.

Happy flushing!

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post #4 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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Really..

Really you guys flush every time? Hmm I've had outboards on the ocean for well over 35 years and never once flushed a single one of them after use. Sure, I flush at the end of season but that's it.

I have never had one single outboard fail me due to internal corrosion. My current Johnson 4hp twin cylinder is over 11 years old now, still has to original impeller, still spits a steady stream and runs perfectly cool. The salt water concerns over outboards are way, way over blown. My brother has 40k worth of engines on his center console that also never get flushed after use and again are in perfect condition and have never given him an ounce of problems. I've spent a good deal of time on lakes and I don't notice that the engines on lakes are any older, as a lot, than the engines I see running on the ocean... Just some food for thought..

My inboard diesel also never gets the raw water side flushed and it too runs fine without it.

It can't hurt to flush but I think it's overkill and can certainly take time away from the fun side of sailing..

P.S. My next door neighbor has a 1977 Johnson on his dinghy that still runs like a top and has been used and not flushed after each use since he bought it in 1977. The paint looks like crap, and it's on it's umpteenth starter cord, but the motor still runs great..
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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Wew, that makes sense. I figured I'd be buying a new outboard every couple of years and am happy to know that flushing at the end of the season is sufficient. I know all those outboards on the slips and moorings don't flush after every trip.

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post #6 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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I'd second what Halekai said. Flushing the outboard after every outing is a bit overkill and a bit of a hassle, especially if you're on a mooring.

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post #7 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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I second what Dawg said.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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Mooring bucket

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Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
You need to flush each time you go - and the procedure for doing it on the water has been covered already someplace here, but basically:

- Lift up the outboard
- Put an empty 5-gallon bucket over the leg and put the outboard back down (being careful not to sink the bucket)
- Fill said bucket with fresh water to just over the splash plate (again being careful not to sink the bucket)
- Start outboard in neutral and flush as usual.
- Lift up outboard and retrieve bucket.

Happy flushing!
I saw an advice tidbit in a magazine that suggested wrapping a swimming-pool 'noodle' float around the fresh-water-filled bucket and leaving it tied to your mooring.

Can't say I've tried it; mine's an inboard.
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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The outboard on my skiff only gets fresh water when i have to work on it or if i take it to the lake near my granddads to fish. Its a 1973 Johnson 9.5. I never have any issues with it, other than getting water in the fuel every now and then.


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post #10 of 16 Old 08-08-2008
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Use salt-away.. seems to work okay at keeping things nice longer. My boat came with a 5 gallon "shower" tank that hooks up to a garden hose so I can flush my dingy outboard just like at the dock. Great for washing fish guts off the deck too It probably wouldn't cost too much to tee off your galley water or even install a separate tank like my setup. Flush whenever you can, but don't go too far out of the way to the point where it isn't fun anymore. Outboard motors are disposable these days, just like sails, lines, cars etc...
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