Outboard In and Out of Reverse Question

healerf18

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Question for the outboard experts out there - when I'm mooching I often have to jog the outboard in and out of reverse to hold the boat in place and work the lines properly. Is this hard on the lower unit? Do I risk shortening the usual service life of the engine? I've tried dragging buckets, etc. but it doesn't give that control that I want. Any ideas?

Thanks!
 

KantishnaCabin

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As long as you are maintaining your outboard properly, inspecting shift and control cables regularly and changing the gear lube annually you shouldn't have any trouble getting many years of such use. So long as you are not regularly going MAX forward to MAX reverse you should have no trouble.

The do make snazzy trolling plates that mount to your lower unit that could help you with your control and maintain ultra slow speeds.
 

healerf18

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Thanks so much! That's reassuring. Usually the engines are just at idling speed. The biggest problem is on windy days when the boat wants to drift faster than I would prefer so I'm in and out of reverse every minute or so.
 

Akfish1

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In and out of gear can cause wear on the clutch dog and the parts of the gears that the clutch engages with. Most people go in and out of forward more than reverse, so you are probably keeping this wear even. As long as you are shifting quickly, ie not hearing a ratcheting sound, you aren't causing any excess wear or damage. Just don't shift slow and let it ratchet.
 

theultrarider

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Times 2. Make solid firm shifts. Don't try to ease it in and out letting the gears grind. Firm shifts and you won't live long enough to wear it out.
 

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