Outboard motor maintenance - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 07-31-2010
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Outboard motor maintenance

I have a new o/b motor. The manual says to flush the motor with fresh water after each use, but my boat is moored, and I don't have access to fresh water, or a slip. The boat is in salt water. What am I suppose to do for proper maintenance?
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Old 07-31-2010
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Information boon

You will likely get a huge amount of suggestions on how to treat an outboard. I have a 1988 Johnson 88 that is freshwater flushed after every fishing trip and think that is why its needed so little maintenance. Yet, my 3.5 Tohatsu on my dinghy is 3 yrs. old and only gets flushed when I stow it for the winter and its doing fine. It's towed behind our sailboat and out of the water on a dock between trips.
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Old 08-02-2010
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The only way i could get a flushing device on my outboard would be if the lower end were tipped clear of the water, and then I couldn't reach the controls to start it.

Every winter I pull it off the boat and take it home to service it, with the intent of running fresh water through it every couple of weeks. Since I haven't sailed November-May, that covers much of the year.

But otherwise, I don't think there's a way to flush these the way we would like.
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Old 08-03-2010
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I am also on a mooring and have limited access to freshwater. We use a Suzuki DF 2.5 4-stroke. This is the fourth season. For the first 2.5 years years we only rinsed in freshwater at the end of each season. Last summer it stopped working and the impellar pump had to be replaced, luckily it was still under warranty. The shop said from now on rinse after each use...so at the end of each weekend I bring the motor home and rinse until the following weekend or next sail. A bit of a hassle but trying to avoid an expensive repair.
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Old 08-03-2010
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this product might be useful with the proper black flush adapter.

WEST MARINE Antifreeze at West Marine

if you filled it with fresh water and maybe some of the anti-salt stuff and just ran it though the motor it would likely last you a few times before you had to fill it again and could be an alternative to taking the motor home often.
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Old 08-04-2010
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I'd point out that many outboards are used without regular flushing and have no issues, even in salt water. Most outboards have cooling passages that are all the same type of metal, so the galvanic corrosion issues just aren't there. Rinsing the outboard with SaltAway once or twice a year is probably a good idea, but I seriously doubt that flushing it every time is really necessary.
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Old 08-04-2010
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My Mercury 9.9 has been in salt water for 5 years now without any major issues. I change the lower lube 2 to 3 times per year depending on the usage, but I haven't flushed it yet.
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