Aboard our bristol 27, we have a mercury
15 mounted on the aft, not in a well. I wash it when ever it is ran in sea water.
Being raised in Fiji
, and growing up with boats that typically all ran outboards, flushing was a daily ritual.
Since we operated multiple times a day for the resort that we ran on an outer island, fresh water could be scarce when going extended periods of time without rain. We had a ritual to do flushes during lockup and closing of the dive shops and such.
However, when water was abundant and not a problem, we would flush every use. As we all know when water evaporates out of saltwater, the salt
is left behind in a crystalized form.
When the engine
heats while running, the water filters through, however when you shut it down, the water remaining will be heated due to not being pumped, this will force it to evaporate, leaving the entire cooling
system to be filled with salt.
With the newer models, that have the built in hose adapters, as someone stated previously, they extended the connector to their deck
, which increases ease of flushing. I'd definitely think about doing something similar if your model has that.
I also know of people who do not flush their engines, ever, which IMO is a terrible idea, but they dont seem to have too much troubles. They also often get the "pee tail" clogged, which requires some cleaning
to get the water flowing. Personally, if the tail is clogged, i couldn't imagine what a nightmare the inside is like.
I'd rather take an extra 10 minutes to do a washdown and cool down of the engine, than potentially having pre-mature failures. Failures that occur sooner than later require more money
to be burned to solve. I would much prefer burning a resource(time), than cash that i've already exchanged for time.
I view time and cash very similar. They are both a finite resource, however on a forward looking perspective, they both are somewhat easily gained. Spending 10 extra mins each use, which can be bundled up with the time spent in the clean up process anyways(i often wash down the boat after each use) is often easier and less stressful than encountering a dead engine that needs a $50-$200+ part + time to diagnose, pull and then reinstall.
All that said, completely up to the individual, i rather be overly cautious on the washdown, than having a giant salt lick to deal with.