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Old 14 April 2006, 19:03   #1
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How often has your boat conked out?

I am curious as to the reliability of outboard motors and I thought it might make an interesting subject for a thread to "compare notes" from different people in answering the following questions.

1/ Has your engine ever conked out?

2/ How many hours have you accumulated with how many failures?

3/ How many hours has the engine got on it?

4/ What did you do?

5/ What broke?

6/ Do you carry an auxiliary engine?

Me:

1/ No
2/ Only 11 so far!
3/ 299 hours total now
4/ n/a
5/ n/a
6/ Not yet but going to get one
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Old 14 April 2006, 19:16   #2
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1) Yes.

2)Huge amount (1000's-been a grotty yottie since I was 2) and never had a major breakdown on any engine (in fact the only engine I've ever had fail totally was a single cylinder 8hp lister Diesel in a yacht.)

3) No idea but probably less than a 2 yearold commercially used engine.Maybe 24 hours use (by me) before this breakdown.

4)Started it by using the battery isolator as the starter motor switch.

5)Starter solenoid jammed engaged.

6)Yes. Won't go out without one.


Generally it's the same story as anything-you get out what you put in. If I'm going to have a petrol engine I'd much prefer it not to be in the bilges where it's an absolute bastard to service.
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Old 15 April 2006, 16:23   #3
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1/ Has your engine ever conked out?
No. Coughed and spluttered yes, but never failed to get me home.

2/ How many hours have you accumulated with how many failures?
Estimated 150 hours last year. Have fitted hour meter at xmas, allready on 12 hrs with no failures


3/ How many hours has the engine got on it?
I'll cut it in half and count the rings... No idea. I have had it 2 years and probably added at least 300 hours. Previous owner probably put less than 500 hr on it.

4/ What did you do?


5/ What broke?

6/ Do you carry an auxiliary engine?
No. But have several auxillary mates!

Old school 2 strokes are pretty reliable or bodgable if you look after them. New school stuff seems very good, but when they do go wrong its gonna be difficult to bodge.

Tell a lie... Paul F towed me in from the anchorage last year because of two flat batteries. Does that count?
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Old 15 April 2006, 20:20   #4
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Quote:
1/ Has your engine ever conked out?
Yes: twice

Quote:
2/ How many hours have you accumulated with how many failures?
Hundreds of hours, two failures

Quote:
3/ How many hours has the engine got on it?
No idea (1998 engine though....)

Quote:
4/ What did you do? 5/ What broke?
First time there was nothing I could do. T'was a problem with the electrical system and we were only ten minutes from home. A speed boat was able to tow us in. 165 later and the problem was fixed.
Second time was last summer. I had been servicing the engine, and giving the cooling system a good flush out as there was a slight blockage. I had removed one of the bolts which allows access to the cooling system at the top of the powerhead (to get some water in to flush out the blockage). I did the bolt up thumb tight but forgot to do it up with a spanner. Very silly. Took the boat out the next day. 30 miles into a 40 mile coastal trip and the engine died. Took the cover off and there was water everywhere. Worked out the problem, then wondered what on earth to do: the only way to get the boat home would have been one person on the helm and one with their finger over the hole to stop all the cooling water spurting out. I didn't fancy this much! Was just about to call the CG when I put my hand in my pocket, and there just happen to be a rusty old bolt, which just happened to fit the hole!!! Put that in and the engine ran home fine (sounds like a story from a book but its true!)

6/ Do you carry an auxiliary engine?

Well with a 4.1 it's not that easy. I do however plan to carry a small aux on the Osprey though.
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Old 16 April 2006, 00:45   #5
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1, 4, and 5: SIB: once; the fuel line rotted and cracked at the connector to the motor. Undid the hose clamp (though to do unless you have needlenose pliers - I did), cut hose back beyond rotten area, reattached.

2. SIB: No idea, as it had no hour meter. Probably about 300 or so, maybe a bit more. RIB: about 65 hrs now. No problems.

3. Oh. I already answered this.

6. No.

jky
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Old 16 April 2006, 08:20   #6
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Stephen

these are very sensible questionand I can understand why you are asking them. If myunderstanding is correct then the ambient temperature of the Falklands is fairly cold so conking out would bring a whole lot more trouble than failing on the way to Yarmouth.

the more sophisticated an engine is the more likely it is to fail, so I'dsteer for a reliable and proven basic engine the three pot yamaha 60 - 90's are very reliable as is the V4 115. They are well engineered and providing properly maintained last for 20 to 30 years. they are also 2 stroke sothat means they are simplerto maintain and operate. The johnsohn that you have is a reliablengineI believe andtherea lot ofoldones around still

The reliability of an outboard depends on more than the engine type, the installation and operation is important as well. Fuel integrity is vital as is the electrical supply. To this end I'd consider running two batteries and twin fuel seperator/filters and devise a fueling policy and stick to it. Make sure your electrical works is top class and uses marine spec cable.

I have done thousand of hours almost all with engines less than two years old
and have had 6 failures. which was caused by

Honda 130 Split fuel tank (water in fuel)
Optimax225 6months old solenoid failure
Optimax 225 sameone but a few months older Oil pump failure
Optimax 150 18 monts old Crank failure
Yamaha70 Dodgy control cable causing intermittent revs
Tohatsu 90 Bag round skeg causing engine seizure


it's just as well im a good looking mutha cos I sure aint lucky!
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Old 16 April 2006, 11:04   #7
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It isn't as cold as the media would have you believe, winter time is often similar to winter in the south of England and summer temps similar to summer in the north of Scotland, having said that wind chill is a big danger here. Today for example is 11*C not bad for middle of April.

But the main thing for me in safety terms is that I'm on the east end of the islands, the prevailing wind is westerly (and usually lots of it) and if you head off due east the next stop is Chile. Now that doesn't sound that far, but I did say heading east look at a globe - about 13,000 miles I think you miss South Africa and Oztralia on the way! so I am quite keen to keep things spinning at the blunt end
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Old 16 April 2006, 16:50   #8
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Two batteries two fuel filters

2 batteries, 2 fuel filters, sounds like an excellent idea. In fact, I think that makes more sense than a second engine.

Does anyone have experience retro-fitting these?
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Old 16 April 2006, 17:33   #9
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I've only got 1 battery-but I have a feasable hand start.

I use a largeish plastic car fuel filter inline on the fuel lines close to the primer bulb as well as the water seperator/filter inside the cowl. Very easy to fit, just cut the lines and jubilee clip it in. Bit heath-robinson but it works.
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Old 16 April 2006, 19:17   #10
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Mine has an inline filter just above the tank, and then a Land Rover fuel sedimentor/water separator bowl (which is designed for diesel but I assume will work with petrol - fitted by previous owner) mounted on the inside of the transom.

Only one battery and I have been thinking about that as there is no hand start - I don't know if it can be retro-fitted or not.
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