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Old 21-09-2015, 16:39   #1
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Outboard motor repair classes

First a little story. One time at Lake Powell I rented a small skiff to take my family deep into red stone canyons. We got all of the way in as far as you can go and the motor sputtered and died. Lucky for me I had brought a small bag of basic tools. I couldn't get that sucker started for my life. My wife was giving me that "I will kill you with the screwdriver" look. It was also 110 degree heat in August. So, I thought okay...lets check and see if we have spark. I pulled the electrical spark plug wire and asked my wife to hold it close to the metal while I pulled the rope so I could check arcing. Honestly, I did not know her hand was wet. She was screaming so loud from getting bit that it sounded like a drunken sailor who had just zipped his manhood in his zipper on an all night bender. I didn't know little church going girls even knew those words. Should have seen her "once" straight hair. I can say it was the cheapest and wildest perm I had seen her in for over 15 years. smile...

So, when she was screaming at me I told her that it wasn't my fault because she had told me so many times not to tell her what to do. So, I felt she must know something about water and electricity that I didn't. You know how women can get. Nonetheless she had that aggressive and take no prisoners look. There was a real chance the kids could be cougar bait latter that night if I couldn't get it started. We were way the hell up a canyon and no flight plan, radio, nada...I knew which child I was going to tie rope to and stake her to the ground if survival was paramount for the rest of us.

Finally, after the shocking experience of seeing my little churchy wife go from placid to certifiably insane in a microsecond I thought I better find a solution before I get stabbed to death with a flat head screwdriver. So, I took the screwdriver and hammer and slowly began to turn the nut by tapping it. It must have been 30 minutes before I got that sucker lose. Every minute or so I would look over my shoulder to see if she had any hard objects in her hands or had even moved an inch closer. I was ready to dive overboard on any progress towards me from this sullen black hatred looking wife that once was my wife only minutes before. There it was....the inline filter full of red sand....freaking marina. So, I just held the dirty fuel filter up to her lips while she was screaming and that red sand just flew out of the wire mesh.."job, well done Sweetheart...couldn't have done it without you. Oh, and thanks for teaching the children words they had never heard before."

So, I retire in two years and will buy another trailerable trimaran. I want to know how to fix outboards with a modicum of skill level. I googled outboard repair classes, small motor repairs....etc. Some nice guy in Orlando Fl told me his 1 year class was 27K for mechanical training to pro level diplomacy. I told him I could just buy a new outboard every ten years with even modest usage and maintenance and be money ahead. We laughed.

So, CF, I live in bay area of san Francisco and I am asking how can I get training for outboard repairs? I want a deeper understanding than just routine maintenance. I don't need to know how to rebuild the power head, or grind valves type of thing. Fuel troubles, electrical diagnosis of sensors, routine maintenance, things of this nature. Can you provide me any class information, colleges, on-line courses, links, workshops...these sort of things would be so appreciated oldest daughter took this photo of the incident at Lake Powell...well it might just be more allegorical...but it was close to this scene. It was the first time I was ever afraid of a woman.
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Old 26-09-2015, 11:23   #2
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

Originally Posted by alansmith View Post
I am asking how can I get training for outboard repairs?
I'd love it as well, I signed up for a week long class from these folks: AMTECH - Association of Marine Technicians but they had to cancel the Seattle session as their weren't enough students. Seems like something there would lots of demand for. Even a one day class at a boat show would be a start.
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Old 26-09-2015, 13:56   #3
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

Mark, txs for the link. I checked it out and sent them a message. They seem to be geared for the pro mechanics. I sent them an email asking if they had something for regular non professional mechanics who have to deal with issues while out and about.

Keep me in mind if you come across something . I will do the same for you...tx, alan
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Old 29-09-2015, 12:54   #4
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

So you've learned the biggest part of the lesson already! 95% of the time, an outboard's problems are fuel-related.

The other 5% are things like corrosion on battery terminals or just plain worn-out parts etc. Running the motor periodically helps also.

But focus your research on fuel issues. Filters, fuel lines, fuel bulbs, cleaning a carb, and most importantly jealously protecting your gasoline quality. That means buying the freshest 93 octane gas from a high sales volume source, adding RingFree or Pri-G religiously, and keeping water out of the system.
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Old 29-09-2015, 14:09   #5
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

Learn like most of us did, buy a piece of crap motor or two and get them running, honestly.
Everything up to splitting the cases on a two stroke is simple and straight forward, draw the line of home brew repairs at crankcase seals, I'd put that at graduate level work, and often if it's that bad, it's beyond sense to repair money wise.

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Old 29-09-2015, 14:45   #6
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

Sacramento City college offers a degree in Motorcycle, Outboard, and Small Engine Repair Motorcycle Maintenance Technician (A.S. Degree)

Not this semester but soon there will be offered a class on just small engine repair. I'd give them a call.

There are likely other city colleges doing the same nearby. In Austin Texas, the retired or just seniors can often audit classes for reduced rates or free. I'm sure in the liberal bastion California there are similar deals.

Good luck.
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Old 29-09-2015, 18:00   #7
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Re: Outboard motor repair classes

Thanks gentlemen, all good hints. Will check local schools and see what is going on. I agree that once u get away from plugs, sensors, and fuel management it is way beyond backyard mechanic stuff.
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