When you’re at the boat ramp all geared up for an epic day’s fishing, the last thing you want is your outboard motor to let you down. We’ve received our fair share of calls from disappointed boaties in this position. Thankfully most issues can be resolved over the phone but here are some tips to avoid this situation.
Firstly, it’s always a good idea to run the motor up at home on idle for 10 minutes before you go. If you’re planning an early morning mission then do this the night before. If there are any issues, it’s likely you’ll uncover them at home. At the same time, also confirm that your electronics are operational and bungs are in.
However, if you do get stuck, there are a few key steps to take depending on what your outboard is doing.
1. Has your motor fired, coughed or spluttered? If so, open throttle lever wide open or lift up the cold start lever and turn over engine with no choke until it fires.
2. Has the motor turned over but there’s no cough or splutter? This usually means there’s no spark or no fuel, or the fuel may be stale. Check the kill switch is in and confirm choke is operating by pushing key in and hearing a click or use a manual choke on the outboard. If the fuel has been sitting around for more than 6 months, replace it.
Also check the fuel connections on the boat and make sure they’ve not perished. If they have, you risk the engine sucking air and not fuel. It’s a good idea to keep spare fuel connections on board just in case.