Beginner's guide to outboard engines? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-31-2009
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Beginner's guide to outboard engines?

Hi all, I just bought my first sailboat, a 1972 22' Westerly Cirrus sans engine. I have an old outboard, an old McCulloch 4hp engine that I inherited and I hope is in working order. No manual, of course. I know nothing about outboards. Not the first thing. Never had one, never even had a gas lawnmower or weedwhacker for that matter. Can someone point me a good site that goes over the basics?

Thanks
Gail

(I tried several times to attach a pic of the motor without success)
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Old 05-31-2009
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I would try a google search, I learned a ton about the Johnson outboard that I just inherited with my boat from searching "Johnson 9.9 outboard".
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Old 05-31-2009
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If it is a two-stroke engine, there's a great article in one of the recent sailing magazines on doing maintenance on a two-stroke. IIRC, it was Practical Boat Owner, which is an English (UK) magazine.
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Old 06-01-2009
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I did small motors for many years. You have a real old one, and mostly the parts you may need are long gone.

If I were you Id make up a gallon of mixed fuel. Use the basic starting steps.

If it does not start, sell it, or put it in a museum.

Go buy a modern one, that way you wont get stranded, which is not the way you want to spend your boat time.


mcculloch outboard motor parts

McCulloch Outboards
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Old 06-01-2009
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Thanks for the replies. I went down to the boat today meaning to at least get the motor on the boat and start cleaning. I ran into the marina owner who informed me that a previous owner (not the one I bought from but the one before him) still owes @ $1000 to them for slip rent. So I guess an engine is the least of my problems now. He is getting ready to take the old owner to court but until it's settled the boat can't go anywhere. I didn't even bother unloading any of the carload of stuff I brought onto the boat. 3 hr drive each way and an absolute waste of time. Pretty depressing.......this is not off to a good start.
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Check your bill of sale... it should have had language in it that said the boat was free of all encumbrances... if it didn't...then you're probably liable for the $1000 if you want the boat.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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