4 cycle engines going into saltwater - what to do?



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  • 4 cycle engines going into saltwater - what to do?

    Many of the forum members know about me going through a hell of a storm on Hitchenbrook Island several years ago. I lost 2 rafts and a ton of gear... Fast forward to June 2014.

    I've updated my electronics this season. Spent weeks getting my boat ready for the season. My friends and I spend 5 weekends getting the "RAVEN" ready. We decide on an overnight trip to Montigue Is for some halibut, kings, and rockfish. All set - ready to go, and we are off. Wednesday night before the trip, I check the weather report, high seas and not favorable odds. Check with the guys - as always, let's go, we'll make the best of it. Head to Seward Friday night, have a great night of fellow-shipping, get up Saturday, weather seems to improve some. Talk amongst us and agree if the seas are 5' or less we'll head to Montigue. I check with a few captains that came in early due to ruff seas and the normal issues. Well, I decide we are scrapping Montigue and stay in the bay and make the best of it.

    We fish my normal spots and get a chicken. Looking at the wind, rain, currents etc, I notice things aren't right. Wind starts to pick up and within a few minutes I decide we need to find cover. Looking around fox, I decide to run into the narrows for cover. Wrong choice... Winds are crazy, other boats are running for cover, I decide to head towards the habor. We witness tornado type swirls of water, rain and wind. Within minutes, my raft with 15 hp in tow goes airborne and flips upside down.

    Well we spend the next 45 minutes or so pulling the raft into my boat and fighting the wind, seas, and the raft to flip it right side up and into my boat so we can get back to the habor. Once in my boat we head to the habor. Seas as worse as I've seen in the bay, we get back to the dock.

    Back at the dock, I'm pissed. I've trashed yet another motor to Mother Nature... Regardless, I hose the kicker motor off with fresh water like heck. (Never turning the motor over), I just flush it as best I can. Clean things up, and Sunday morning, we are headed home to try and recover my kicker. As soon as I get home, I once again hose the kicker off with fresh water. Drain all the fuel from the filter, and the float. Spray WD-40 all over everywhere, in the carb, pull spark plugs and spray more WD-40 into the cylinders. Now I drain the oil and filter. (Have to reuse my filter cause I don't have a spare.) refill oil. After several pulls - we get the engine running. Runs like crap but it's running. After 30 minutes or so I kill the engine and check the oil... Milky. Pull the plugs and realize I cracked one of my plugs (and most likely why the engine is running ruff). Drain the oil again and refill. Wait till Monday, change the plugs and run the engine again for about an hour. Check the oil again, still milky. Drain oil again (#3 oil change).

    Check youtube and internet for what to do in this type of situation. See that a lot of guys use diesel fuel in all internal parts, ie carb, cylinder etc. not sure what to do next, I wait and talk to Dewey's on Tuesday. They highly recommend I do not use diesel. Instead, they tell me to change the oil and filter, make sure I have fresh fuel, new plugs and run the hell out of the engine as soon as I can. Knowing I'm headed out Wednesday for some fishing I run the "hell" out of her for about 6 hours. Check the oil, no longer milky.

    So here is the engine running after being in the salt for 45+ minutes, new plugs! and 4 oil changes. Your call if you want to use WD-40, or diesel. I'll stick with WD-40 for now.


    Hopefully you'll never have to deal with this type of thing, but if so, here is what I did... Safe boating and happy fishing season...

  • #2
    Glad you made it home safely and with all your gear!
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"


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