SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: Flushing Outboards while on a Mooring? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
08-09-2010 01:23 PM
jgeissinger It would be a very good idea to flush often, if at all possible. That being said, I certainly don't with my outboards, and there are zillions of cast iron block inboards decades old which have never been flushed at all.
08-09-2010 12:46 PM
bobchandler I was making this procedure,harder than it is.My boat is tied to a floating dock. I used a 5gal plastic cat litter bucket,tied to a rope.Tossed it over the motors raised foot.Dropped the foot,tied the rope to my back railing and filled the bucket with water.Ill flush it once aweek,when I wash the boat,if I take it out..A local dealer of Suzuki motors,uses 6hp 4 strokes on his rental fleet. I asked how often to you flush the motors...he replied we dont and they run daily.should be noted their operation in in brackish water,off a fresh water river,thats runs into the gulf
07-30-2010 06:40 AM
norsearayder i have a johnson 115 that is a 1988 vro it only gets flushed at haulout,never had a problem
07-30-2010 05:30 AM
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
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..
+1. Never flush until the end of the season. Never had a problem. This is in Maine, don't know about other areas but doubt that the guys in FL do all the time either.
07-29-2010 10:16 PM
TohatsuGuru Think in terms of dentistry:

You can never brush your teeth.

You can brush every three months.

You can brush every week.

You can brush every day.

You can brush after every meal.

There is always someone who never brushes their teeth and at the age of 70 still has avoided Gingivitis. Call that luck, genetics or a good Bourbon, but common sense would indicate that the more you brush the more likely you will be to still have them...It does not matter what brand of engine you have. Salt kills. Combine that with electrolysis and your engine will not see it's tenth birthday. Flush if at all possible, even if it takes effort
07-29-2010 06:09 PM
bobchandler Glad to have read this article. I just moved my boat to saltwater. My motor is a Suzuki 6hp and I keep it in the water.
08-08-2008 05:53 PM
sailboy21 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...
08-08-2008 05:25 PM
SVDistantStar 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.
08-08-2008 10:22 AM
Mooring bucket

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.
08-08-2008 10:13 AM
max-on I second what Dawg said.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome