OUTBOARD TROUBLES? DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!
In the autumn (fall, as it is known in the US of A) of 1996, off Crete, in the Mediterranean, Nick Danger was
out sailing his 53 foot Fontaine Pajot catamaran in a Force 8, when his Zodiac dinghy was ripped from the davits. He managed to get a rope around the outboard motor, a Johnson 9.9, less than a month old, and was obliged to drag it behind the boat for the next 30 hours.
When things had calmed down, he retrieved the motor from the sea and, without rinsing it in fresh water, sprayed copious quantities of WD40 into it and put it in a
Two days later, when the dinghy was repaired, he took the outboard from the locker, put it on the back and it started with no more difficulty than ever.
Nine months later he put it in for a service and it was declared to be in fine condition.
This year he took it out of storage, after a year's rest and found it to be frozen. He freed it by using a wrench on the fly-wheel and, after a little effort, it worked. It worked better than ever after that, for a while, starting on the first pull. Now it is back to requiring two or three pulls to get started but it
is still running well.
We're not recommending that you take to towing your outboard through
rough seas, but it says a lot for Nick's practicality, Johnson's engineering and for
the benefits of having WD40 on hand too!
INTERNET OUTBOARD MANUALS
We thought, for one glorious moment there, that we had
found a website which published outboard motor manuals on the World Wide
Web, but no, it turned out it was just an ordering site for the kind
that is printed on paper and, what is more, there wasn't even a facility
on the site for ordering via e-mail or Internet shopping, just a mailing
address and telephone number. Does any reader know of any outboard
manuals published on the Web for owners in need of guidance and unable
to take delivery of printed matter?
When you've lost your own manual and
you're in the back of beyond, the local mechanic hasn't got one for your
particular model either and you want to get going, it's a frustration.
Surely putting the manuals on the Internet wouldn't (as someone
suggested to us might be the reason for their apparent absence) cause
most people to abandon professional services and start attempting their
Some of us wouldn't know where to begin, even with a manual in front of
us; some of us aren't
willing to get our hands that dirty; some of us could quite easily do it
ourselves but prefer to pay someone else and spend the time more
fruitfully and some of us are going to do it ourselves come hell or high
water and, if the engine we have is too frustrating to maintain, it will
be replaced with a more user-friendly model.
It is all very well the
manufacturers protecting the service mechanics and parts distributors
business by keeping information out of the public eye but their earnings
come from the end user and that should never be forgotten. In fact,
putting manuals on the Internet may give mechanics in out-of -the-way
places the opportunity to add to income currently being lost for lack of
them. We are probably being 'thick' and failing to find manuals which
have been on the Web since it first started, but if we are having that
much difficulty, how much harder will it be for newcomers to the Web?
Would anyone care to comment?
ON THE STROKE OF FOUR...
We're told that when it came to developing a line of
four-stroke outboard motors,
Honda Marine did so with the specific goal of eliminating the undesirable characteristics associated with ordinary outboards—while greatly enhancing
By applying Honda's automotive technology to the marine
industry, they developed a line of outboard motors featuring nearly 50 different models and
combining power and dependability with efficient, clean, and quiet
Four-stroke engines provide outstanding low-end torque and
In Honda four-strokes, a through-the-prop exhaust system even draws engine exhaust out through the center of the
propeller, for still greater power.
That translates to quick acceleration - it gets your boat on the plane faster.
Simply put, a smaller four-stroke can do the job of a comparably sized - or even
larger - two-stroke engine...and can do it far more efficiently. Of
equal importance to many these days, is the huge reduction in
pollution created - one of the major advantages of the four-stroke
engine over the two-stroke.
Sounds great. Has anybody got first-hand experience of living with
one for a while? We'd love to hear end-user comments on this and all
the other outboard engines out there. Sorry to say, we can't think of
anything to say about our outboard engine that is fit to publish in a
family magazine. Are we jinxed or is there a brand you'd swear by? Tell
us, please, we're longing to know!