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Old 14-12-2015, 07:57   #1
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Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

How often do you flush the outboard? (that pushes your sailboat)

How about those of you that have outboards mounted in the Aft Well?

I've flushed mine maybe 4X since I bought it new in 2011. (and have used it 40-60 times at least in very salty water. As in Atlantic Ocean Salty)
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Old 14-12-2015, 08:09   #2
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

I run the outboard about once a month while mounted on the bracket on the stern rail. I suspend a 5 gallon bucket with the leg in the bucket, fill it with fresh water (a hose turned on low will replenish the water splashed out or lost due to the "tell tale" water stream). This "excersises" the outboard and flushes it as well.
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Old 14-12-2015, 08:30   #3
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

I believe if an engine is in frequent use, as in almost daily, flushing is of little use, flushing is in my opinion primarily for laying up, or a period of disuse.
I always flushed my big outboards, because it was so easy to do, boats on the wash rack anyway, just hook up a hose. But, I think I did a lot of un-necessary flushing.
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Old 14-12-2015, 11:23   #4
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

Our first boat was a Bristol 24 with the outboard mounted in the well. We were on a mooring, so we had a super soaker type of pump that we would fill with water. The nozzle would then go into the water outlet tube (not sure exactly what it's called - we called it the pee tube) and we'd put the water in that way.


The PO of the boat used to do this each time he went for a sail, so we simply continued the practice.
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Old 14-12-2015, 11:27   #5
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

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Originally Posted by Cthoops View Post
Our first boat was a Bristol 24 with the outboard mounted in the well. We were on a mooring, so we had a super soaker type of pump that we would fill with water. The nozzle would then go into the water outlet tube (not sure exactly what it's called - we called it the pee tube) and we'd put the water in that way.


The PO of the boat used to do this each time he went for a sail, so we simply continued the practice.
Nice idea. Btw, how are you liking your Bristol 29.9?

There's one for sale near here and I'm just waiting for the price to go down. He wants like $24,000 for it.
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Old 14-12-2015, 20:22   #6
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

The boat is currently on the Great Lakes so no need but when we were on salt water maybe a couple times a month.

Just slip the ear muffs on and run it for 10 minutes. Of course, we can easily reach the lower unit by lying on the back deck.
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Old 15-12-2015, 07:26   #7
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

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Nice idea. Btw, how are you liking your Bristol 29.9?

There's one for sale near here and I'm just waiting for the price to go down. He wants like $24,000 for it.
We hauled her as soon as we brought her back to get a jump on our off-season work so we haven't had much sailing time yet, but we love the space and all of the storage. We've done a lot of rebedding (and other work) and she's definitely a solid boat. Can't wait for next season!

Good luck with the one you have an eye on.
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:37   #8
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

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We hauled her as soon as we brought her back to get a jump on our off-season work so we haven't had much sailing time yet, but we love the space and all of the storage. We've done a lot of rebedding (and other work) and she's definitely a solid boat. Can't wait for next season!

Good luck with the one you have an eye on.
Thanks.

The problem is that every time I get ready to buy another boat I realize the one I have now that I bought for $2,000.00 seems to be able to do everything I need in a sailboat.

I would like to have an Express 27 maybe or a J/27. (as a second boat for racing)
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Old 15-12-2015, 16:42   #9
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

My Seawind has two outboards in the wells, each 9.9 hp Yamahas. I replaced the engines in 2013, and the new models each had a flush hose near the cowling. I extended the hoses, and mounted the end cap near the top of the well box. So it is very easy to attach a hose to flush. So I do this each time we return to dock. The old outboards had a lot of corrosion and salt buildup. Hoping this will delay that buildup. Not sure that this flushing gets below the water pump though. The flushing is done with the engines not running.
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Old 16-12-2015, 17:12   #10
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

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.
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Old 16-12-2015, 17:36   #11
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

Yeah, my 5 hp Mercury 25" outboard is attached to the stern on my Bristol 27 also.

I flushed it today (with salt water) just to get out all the loose crap out if there is any.

In a week or so, I'll turn my boat in the slip (back it in) and put the outboard on the stern railing for a proper flush with the hose attachment adapter that goes under the power head. It says to do it without running the engine.

I'll also change the oil this year.

This will probably be the fifth flush it has received so I'll let the water run a while I reckon.
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Old 16-12-2015, 17:46   #12
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailjumanji View Post
My Seawind has two outboards in the wells, each 9.9 hp Yamahas. I replaced the engines in 2013, and the new models each had a flush hose near the cowling. I extended the hoses, and mounted the end cap near the top of the well box. So it is very easy to attach a hose to flush. So I do this each time we return to dock. The old outboards had a lot of corrosion and salt buildup. Hoping this will delay that buildup. Not sure that this flushing gets below the water pump though. The flushing is done with the engines not running.
+1

There is no reason why you should not do this after each daily use, I have seen too many boat owners with outboards that complain of overheating issues due to salt buildup from lack of flushing
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Old 17-12-2015, 12:41   #13
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Re: Flushing the Outboard (that's mounted to your sailboat)

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+1

There is no reason why you should not do this after each daily use, I have seen too many boat owners with outboards that complain of overheating issues due to salt buildup from lack of flushing
I don't have that hose near the cowling. I have a bolt under the powerhead and a hose coupling "thingy" that you screw in to replace the bolt. Then hook up the water hose.

page 1B-4

Boatinfo - Mercury Service Manual for 4-5-6 hp

I used a 5 gallon bucket last year when my boat was in the yard and actually "cranked it up" to flush the engine

Mine is still "urinating" quite well but I probably do need to flush more often
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