If you’re ready to take your boating skills to the next level, learning how to operate a small outboard motor can help. Knowing how to properly start, adjust and steer the engine will ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The first step in operating a small outboard is to make sure the engine is properly sized for your boat. Typically, the length of an outboard motor’s shaft should be about equal to the transom height.
Start the Engine
Whether you’re a veteran boater or just getting started, you can’t enjoy the fun and freedom of boating without knowing how to operate a small outboard motor. Starting a small outboard motor isn’t complicated, but it does require some care and attention.
First, you need to drain the old fuel from your motor’s tank. This will prevent the engine from overheating and damaging itself.
Next, you need to connect your motor to a new fuel tank and fill it with fresh gas. It’s a good idea to do this every 6 months or so.
If your boat’s engine still won’t start, there may be a problem with the carburetors. In this case, you should consult a service manual for your particular year/make/model.
Turn on the Lights
It may come as no surprise that a small outboard is not all that easy to get going, especially on a dime. A few tips and tricks will make the task a little more manageable, especially for the uninitiated.
The best way to start is with a solid engine tune-up. This will ensure that everything is working as it should, including the starter motor and crankshaft.
You should also check for leaks in the fuel system and on the exhaust manifold. If this is not done, your engine may be more prone to misfires and failure.
The most important thing is to remember that the best boating experience starts with a proper boat maintenance plan. From there, you can keep your vessel in top condition to enjoy a fun and safe time on the water. Keeping an eye out for the small stuff like leaks and loose parts will go a long way towards preventing costly repairs down the road.
Adjust the Throttle
When operating a small outboard motor, it’s important to know how to adjust the throttle. The throttle is a control lever that controls the engine and gearbox and is vital to ensuring smooth performance.
Several factors can cause the throttle to hesitate upon acceleration. These include air leaks, restricted fuel filters, and carburetor jets.
Another possible reason is that the idle mixture screw is out of adjustment. To correct this, use a small adjustable wrench or screwdriver to rotate the idle adjustment 1/4 turn clockwise until the engine idle slows down.
The present invention provides a remote control unit for a small outboard motor mounted on the stern of a boat, which includes steering and throttle setting in a single movable bar that is moved between positions along an arc to establish a desired throttle setting.
Turn on the Clutch
If you are operating a small outboard motor, the clutch is probably the first thing you should turn on. The clutch is a metal device that meshes with the matching teeth on the inside of the gear cogs to rotate the propeller.
The outboard motor’s transmission is driven by the power from the engine through the input shaft and a forward gear and reverse gear in the lower unit. The outboard’s shifted into and out of forward and reverse by a shift rod that moves the clutch dog up and down in order to engage and disengage the gear box with the selected gear.
However, if you are running your outboard in a situation where the propeller is not spinning freely, shifting into forward or reverse will be difficult and might damage the gear box. This is because the present system of a shifting mechanism requires very high forces to move the clutch dog up and down the splined output shaft to make an engagement with a forward or reverse gear.