Gearing up for quality leisure time on the water this Summer…
Despite some recent weather patterns, Summer is definitely on the way, so hopefully your Honda-powered boat has been prepped for another season of fun with family and friends. Hopefully your Honda outboard service schedule is up to date (eg. every 100 hours or service once a year), if it isn’t you’ll need to get hold of your local Honda Marine Dealer. This being done, all that remains are some simple checks that you yourself can quickly carry out to ensure that you enjoy hassle-free boating this festive season.
Hopefully you detached the cables from your battery to avoid the potential discharge that will occur if it stands unused for long periods of time, as the alternator can only keep the battery fully charged if the engine itself is running. Failure to have done so could lead to an ignominious silence as you attempt to restart, which if in front of a slowly gathering launch site crowd could knock the confidence…
Anyway re-attach the cables now and make sure that the terminals are not corroded. If they are, then wipe them clean with a wire brush or something similar. Check the water levels (distilled water) and top up if necessary, checking the volts and amps reading with a battery tester. Your battery may need to be put on charge briefly to ensure that it’ll run at its optimum level.
During non-usage times, the general consensus is that it’s always best to leave your fuel tank as empty as possible. If you have left fuel in your tank, you firstly run the risk of condensation building up inside your tank leading to water getting into the fuel, and secondly if unleaded fuel sits for too long, sediment can form in the bottom of you tank which when you start up again can be sucked into the filters and consequently block the fuel flow.
All Honda outboards have a normal fuel filter, whilst from Honda 40hp and up to 250hp, all the outboards are equipped with an additional ‘water trap’ fuel filter which will automatically catch any water in your fuel system and set off an alarm, allowing you to check and empty the trap.
So when it comes to re-starting, once you’ve re-connected your battery, filled up with fresh unleaded petrol and primed your fuel system, keep an eye on this water trap filter, just to make sure that there’s been no condensation build-up during the winter lay-off period.
If your boat has been stored outside over the winter months, it’s advisable to take the distributor cap off and clean it out. Make sure that there is no corrosion on the connections.
Before launching it’s essential to do a final run-through. As a pilot would check out his aircraft before take off, you need to do the same with your boat. Check all fuel hoses and cables for wear, test all electrical equipment (trim/ VHF radio/ Bilge Pump if applicable), and make sure that all safety equipment is in place and up to date (fire extinguisher/ flares if applicable) etc.
So now you’re ready for action, just remember the kill switch (essential that you wear this at all times) because without it being securely plugged in on the connector on your dash, she’s not going to start and also don’t forget to make sure that the drain plug is in.
Contact your local Honda Marine dealer should you require any assistance of any kind. Wishing everyone a safe season on the water.