Skipper’s Tip 8/8/2011 – Outboards

Outboard Motors: Even a well-maintained outboard can be a headache. We just want them to work so we can get out and go sailing, but first we have to get them started. If you’ve ever watched Brandy or Matt, you’ll notice that these pesky engines start every time for us, unless there is something very wrong with them! So how do we do it? Follow these steps and see how it works for you:

  1. Put the motor in place, tilted down and in the water before you hook up the fuel line. Unhook the fuel line before you raise or tilt. Raising/lowering, or tilting with the line hooked up often leads to a broken fuel fitting, which will leave you without a motor!
  2. Vent the tank and check the kill-switch (the red cord with the horseshoe on the end).
  3. Pull the choke all the way out.
  4. Put the throttle at the starting position (Arrow lined up with the raised line)
  5. Give the cord one SLOW pull – all the way out – this primes the engine with fuel and allows you to verify that you are not about to whack your elbow into the end of the boom, or worse yet, your friend!
  6. The next pull should be fast – the real important part is the first couple of feet. If you manage to get a quick pull for the first two feet, the outboard will start on this pull. Once it starts, push the choke back in!
  7. If you didn’t manage to start it on step 6, it is critical that you put the choke back in before you pull again. Any more than two pulls with the choke out will flood our outboards and it’ll take awhile to get it started if that happens, so leave the choke in and increase the throttle a little if you need extra pulls.
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