outboard service after full season immersion

The dreaded Iron Top Sail we sometimes have to rely on.....

outboard service after full season immersion

Postby Chris Wicks » Sat May 22, 2010 7:07 am

My Honda 5hp is now 5 years old. Every season I leave it fixed in position ready for use for the whole season (April to October). It is in salt water (Aegean Sea) and during that time used at least once a week and often 2 or 3 times. Each year immediately after the season I run the engine in a barrel of fresh water with a plenty of 'Calgon' added. This is a bathroom descaler used for cleaning taps and fittings in domestic bathrooms.

Apart from normal top end engine servicing, it is how the outboard leg would survive that was the big issue. Externally I antifouled the outboard leg and prop with a hard antifoulling (for drive legs and propellors). During the season when swimming I give it a clean over and check the water inlets are not fouling up. Occasionally it involves a couple of minutes gentle scraping to keep clean. During lay up I remove the bottom section of the leg, the impellor housing within and clean up all internal surfaces. This takes me no more than a couple of hours and I have to report after 5 years, no significant corrosion or problems detected. I changed the impellor this year for the first time and have now kept the old one as a spare as it seemed as good as knew. All of the above is of course completely contrary to the engine hand book stating it must be regularly flushed with fresh water, but I reasoned if boats with stern drives are permenantly immersed why shouldn't the O/B. Of course small bore water inlets need to be watched but I have been very pleased with these results so am committed to continue keeping the engine immersed in this way.


Kaliope CC67
Chris Wicks
CC19 Association Member
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:39 am
Location: Platanias, Pelion, Greece and Funtington, Chichester, West Sussex.

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