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Thread: Outboard flush in the winter?

  1. #1
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    Default Outboard flush in the winter?

    I've looked through the threads and don't see much on this. I'm a newer boat owner (first winter and with boat in the harbor all year). I'm curious on opinion and experience with regard to outboard flushing intervals.

    This past summer I re-powered to a Yamaha F200. During warmer month's I was meticulous about flushing the motor after every use, as the manual suggests. This winter I've been going out for kings once every two weeks or so but the harbor water supply is off this time of year and I haven't been regularly pulling the boat to flush. I sure see a lot of boats in the harbor are being used similarly to mine. Are you pulling and flushing regularly? Since I'm not flushing after every use approximately how many hours can I run her until I need to flush?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this.

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Good question. I always take mine home and flush with hot water. It is hard to keep up when it is cold. My last trip out in the sound I thought we were going to have to call the trip and go home. I started and ran 20 sec and no pee (after letting it sit in the water for about 10 minutes with the motor down in the water), did this off and on for several times and finally she started pissin. Off we went. I think that I am going to replace the water pump now though - she has 104 hours on a new yammie 250. I always make sure to drop the motor down right after I get out of the water too (and my spot to flush at home is on a steep incline....I thought the hot water flush would do it but it did not.

    I would get some salt away and flush the heck out of it once the weather is warmed up.

  3. #3

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    The F series Yamaha's probably have more zinc in them than any OB motor ever, at least, more than any motor I've ever taken apart. FWIW, I've had motors that have been in salt for years without flushing. My current motor is a 1990's 150 2-stroke that's been hung for five years and I think I flushed it once during a tune-up. You really don't have a worry, just do it when you can next. I just tore down a 2004 F150 off a seine skiff that probably never saw fresh water and the zincs were about 80%. Just about the same ratio of water to oil in the lower unit!

    Of course, it's best if you flush it every time. I'm only saying it's not a panic button sort of thing. I think in the long run more OB longevity would be gained in removing every single bolt, spline and fastener and apply anti-seize than flushing the motor. I've actually used a skilsaw to remove the lower unit on an 1988 Yamaha 150, cutting that dang tail bolt. Ruins the midcase, yep! Many a similar story about powerhead removal......

  4. #4

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    Echo Coppers assessment. I wouldn't worry about it. Our boars are in the harbor year round and like he said zincs will indicate what's going on internally. There are internal zincs as well and my first set of motors never changed em in in about 3 years or roughly 3000 hrs but checked on their condition from time to time.
    Now when I lived on Kauai that was another matter; galvanized trailers had about a 3-5 year life span even rinsing with a fresh water rinse after every launch and retrieval. Hawaii will expose the various grades of "stainless" steel.
    Check out Quickwater Adventure water taxi/transport services: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Quick...37553606260978

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    I had my Honda 90 in the water 7 months of the year for 10 year and never flushed. Changed zincs every other year and water impellor every other year. No problems and motor is still going strong.

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    If it is below freezing I don't recommend my customers flush with fresh water. The freshwater will freeze in your water circulation lines and fuel cooler and take a long time to melt. It may also pool around the water pump impeller.
    I recommend that the motor be left down in the winter when in the harbor or at least tilted down a few minutes before cranking so that any ice around the water pump has a chance to soften. We have seen ice sheer the impeller key when the water pump was frozen full of water. After tilting down and waiting, run the motor for a couple of minutes and shut it down and wait, like Bullelkklr, that heat under the cowl has to melt the ice in the small water lines and fuel cooler. If you have to run, you can, the Pee stream is just an indicator, most of your cooling water is going out with the exhaust. Even just idling along for a few minutes will start to melt that ice and the motor will start flowing water out the pee hole.
    Flush any time you can, but it is probably best to avoid it when the temp is below freezing. Your Yamaha has a lot of protection against internal corrosion, it can still happen but you have some of the best protection in the industry.
    Casey
    Yamaha Dealer
    Petersburg, AK

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    I wonder if it is a good idea to flush out an engine if your going to be running it in the winter? Fresh water freezes at 32* salt at 0*F. If there is no way to guarantee you can get all the fresh water out it would be better to have salt water in the engine or use antifreeze as long as it does not react with the aluminum.

    From what I read about corrosion inside the cooling system. Just because the anodes are good that is not a guarantee you don't have corrosion. The only way to tell is remove or use a scope and look for problems.

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    Very helpful information, thank you all. I moved to Homer last winter having spent my whole life on lakes and rivers. Shortly after landing I realized the picture down here just wouldn't be complete without a boat. After some discussion, followed by a little begging and finally ending with outright pleading, my CFO (wife) agreed. I found a good deal on a used 22' Searunner, purchased from a good friend's father so I was confident in it's previous care and condition. The story since has been a fun and expensive learning process: learning systems sometimes due to their failure and other times in the interest of preventing such. I continue to be amazed at the depth of knowledge that is entailed and necessary to be a "good" boat owner and user. Good meaning, in my mind, how to protect my investment, knowing and following safety measures, knowing systems so as to stay running smoothly and the ability to fix them when down. It's a deep well of knowledge to be had. This forum has been helpful. Now if only I could convince my credit card that it need not always be so involved in the process!

  9. #9
    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Buy a gallon jug hand pump and rig it to a plastic hose connection and pump RV antifreeze into motor when in doubt. I have pumped from the top or with flush cups.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Any side effects to the rubber pump with the antifreeze? I wouldnt think so.


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  11. #11

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    [QUOTE=timinhomer; Now if only I could convince my credit card that it need not always be so involved in the process![/QUOTE]

    It's been said too many times; a boat is a hole in the water you fill with money....

  12. #12
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    Being it made of a rubber type material I don't think there will be a problem. If you want to know for sure.....take a old pump and place it in antifreeze of choice in a warm area or on the stove (low heat) and see what happen over time.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Jim View Post
    Echo Coppers assessment. I wouldn't worry about it. Our boars are in the harbor year round and like he said zincs will indicate what's going on internally. There are internal zincs as well and my first set of motors never changed em in in about 3 years or roughly 3000 hrs but checked on their condition from time to time.
    Now when I lived on Kauai that was another matter; galvanized trailers had about a 3-5 year life span even rinsing with a fresh water rinse after every launch and retrieval. Hawaii will expose the various grades of "stainless" steel.
    To the last sentence: avoid stainless fastenings like they are AIDS when in contact with aluminum! Replace with galvanized whenever possible!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    Being it made of a rubber type material I don't think there will be a problem. If you want to know for sure.....take a old pump and place it in antifreeze of choice in a warm area or on the stove (low heat) and see what happen over time.
    This is the answer I should have said.

    Cars a trucks have several rubber holes in their cooling system they never have a problem with antifreeze. It makes sense a rubber water pump will also not have a problem.

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