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Thread: What to do with Swamped outboard in sea water for 24 hours?

  1. #1

    Default What to do with Swamped outboard in sea water for 24 hours?

    Ok, wear life jackets at all times, when a boat goes over, there is no time to think! Just had to say that after a roug wave came in and swamped my 18 ft alweld in the bay here...i had life jacket on, my two buddies was in the tuperware tub, luckily, we had stirofoam in the wells adn they got on top and i dove and got em...we had to swiim two miles in through 4-6 ft swells, thought we were a gonner for sure!~

    anyway, it is a 35 hp briggs vanguard, aircooled....

    it will probably spend up to 24 hours in the sea water....what should i do?

    can i pull apart, put new bearings in, and rinse in gaskets, carb kit, etc...or will i need to grind the crank, mill the heads, reseat valves, hone the cylinders, etc?.....

    if you know of what the cheapest place is to do this work, and buy the rebuild kits, let me know...

    wear life jackets at all times..AND, AND DO NOT BUY CHEAP ONES!...your safety depends on that...i had a so-so one and the weakest of the swimmers got it....soooo, he wasted so much energy staying afloat, etc, he almost became a liability, but, he worked his BUT off to keep up, so we barely made it....if he had had an awesome float coat on or just a great life jacket, we could have dog paddled in alot quicker, but, we had to float on a nice 8 ft expensive oar where i could lead the way and kinda pull us while he kicked at the back....keep your emergency kit in a floatable box, etc, hooked on to the boat or you!!!!!....mine went down when i reached into the tuperware box to get the life jackets.....if we had a vhf, man, it would have not taken us long to get help there....

    Scotty in the AK bush

  2. #2


    Oh man, sorry to hear about your boat but glad to hear everyone made it out ok. As for the engine, you won't know the extent of the damage until you get it out and tear it down.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    I have no experience with this sort of thing, but I have seen where steel tools have been in salt water for days and show no signs of corrosion until shortly after they were removed from the water. As soon as they were exposed to oxygen they started rusting really fast.

    What I would do is find a big tub of clean fresh water to drop it right away, pull the plugs, and see if you can pumps that fresh water through the engine. Make sure you get fresh water into and out of the cylinders and crank case. Flush as much salt out of it as fast as you can. Then change the water and do it again.

    After that dry it out as fast as you can and try to get it running with fresh oil in it. You might get lucky.

  4. #4
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    According to the manual for my motor:

    Due to the corrosive effect of salt water on internal
    engine components complete disassembly is necessary
    before any attempt is made to start the engine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006


    Was the motor running when it went down? That makes a difference. It's better if it was cool, that way there isn't any shock cooling. You are supposed to get the motor to the shop 3-4 hours after it is pulled out on the water.

    good luck and I'm glad every one was OK.
    "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."
    Henry Ford

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    North Pole


    I've had this happen to a 15hp Evinrude in the past...I was in the field for an extended period of time and needed the motor. I just put it in the fresh water creek near camp for 12 hours without the plugs in...then pulled for what seemed like hours on the pullcord. Then used WD 40 in the Cyllinders and pulled some more. I repeated the process for about 6 times. Next I pulled the carb and cleaned it out totally..spraying with wd again. Pulled the head and sprayed and pulled more. In the meantime I sprayed the block and all electrical liberally too. Put everything back together and she fired right off and ran better than before.

  7. #7


    Kerosene in the cylinder and case it flushes out the water, but first rinse with fresh water.

    I just did a motor that was under for 30 hours. Runs fine now.


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