Easter is just around the corner and presents you with an ideal time to get your boat back in the water and share some quality time with family and friends, but it’s only a short break so to ensure that your boating holiday is hassle-free, it’s best to carry out a few basic checks before you go

         Pre-trip Engine start up

  • Reconnect your battery terminals ensuring that they are clean.
  • Remove and give the distributor cap a wipe clean if your boat has been stored outside.
  • Hopefully you stored your boat with minimal fuel in the tank to avoid potential sediment build up which could block the fuel supply. Put some fresh unleaded fuel in the tank and prime accordingly.
  • Attach the engine muff and water hose attachment and turn on the water supply.
    Start your engine and ensure all is working, there should be no reason why it shouldn’t be.

         Check your Safety Equipment

  • Ensure that you have all safety equipment on board according to your Certificate of Fitness (COF) rating.
  • Ensure that all PDF’s (Personal Flotation Devices/ Life Jackets) are in working order and that are still to the correct sizes for your growing children if applicable. If need be replace with new ones from your local Honda Marine dealer.
  • Check that you have your boat’s bung at hand, obviously remembering to refit it before launching. This is a common oversight which can have disastrous and very expensive repercussions.
  • Check that your KILL-SWITCH is on board and remember to wear it at all times without fail whenever the boat is underway.

         Check your Boat over properly

  • Subject to whether your boat has been stored in a garage or outside it might need a good clean.
  • Check the condition of all fuel hoses and other visible cabling.
  • Make sure you have all the relevant documentation on the boat – Skipper’s licence/ COF.
    BF50 - action - rear side view RIB copyCheck your Boat Trailer
  • Check you trailer’s wheel bearings.
  • Check your trailer lights when rigged up to your tow vehicle.
  • Check your trailer road licence is up to date and clearly displayed.
  • Check that your name and cell phone number are clearly marked on your trailer.
  • Check that the correct reflective strips are fitted as per the legal requirements.

Now it’s time for the Easter holiday, wishing everyone safe and happy boating. Should you have any queries or need help with any of the above, please contact your local Honda Marine dealer.


How to make the purchase of a Used (Pre-owned) Boat a good experience, and one that will give both you and your family endless hours of pleasure on the water

A used boat will cost less than a new boat and therefore if you choose the right boat first time you can find yourself getting a lot of value for your money, making it a wise investment. If you follow a basic set of guidelines, study all the pros and cons, and rather purchase from a reputable dealer than privately or online, there is every chance that you’ll make your purchase a good experience, giving you and your family in the longer term endless hours of pleasure on the water.

For example when purchasing a pre-owned boat from a reputable Dealer, the Dealer will ensure that the boat is registered in your name, free of any encumbrances, as well as ensure that the vessel is supplied with a current seaworthiness certificate (COF) in your name, and that all the documentation pertaining to the vessel’s flotation and seaworthiness, and trailer registration, are present and correct. The other positive to consider when purchasing from a dealer is that you, as the consumer are protected under the consumer protection act, against material defects and there is an implied 6 month warranty, which you do not have when purchasing privately or for example on Gumtree.
BOATING TIP-Close inspection of the hull copy

It is a common misconception that the Dealers are more expensive when considering a pre-owned boat.  The overall market which is way more powerful than all the Dealers put together, will ultimately determine at what price boats will change hands. It often happens that someone purchases a “bargain” on Gumtree (or other online mediums) only to discover, sadly and more often than not too late in the day, that they could have bought a later model, an overall better boat package, free of defects for way less from the Dealer.

Often when a vessel is purchased privately, it sometimes transpires that the boat does not have a flotation certificate, or indeed any form of flotation which essentially renders the boat useless in its current condition.  So what was supposed to be the start of a fun process turns into an expensive exercise, leaving you stranded with an inferior boat package option when compared to the same-priced ‘ready to go’ unit that you could have bought from a reputable dealer.
BOATING TIP-Transom copy

The main GUIDELINES to purchasing a used boat privately are as follows:

  • First appearances of a used boat are crucial, if it’s dirty or looks a little shoddy, then that’s just a precursor of what more is to come, so rather just walk away, it’s not worth the risk.
  • Is there a current manufacturer’s flotation certificate for the boat?
  • Is the trailer registered in the name of the seller?
  • Does the chassis number reflected on the registration certificate of the
 trailer match the number stamped on the trailer?
  • Are there any outstanding hire purchases on the vessel?
  • Does the boat have a current Seaworthiness Certificate (COF), and if not, 
when was the last survey done as this is an ongoing annual requirement?
  • It’s a used boat, so it’s had a previous owner. Try and get hold of him or her, find out why they’re selling, ask them how the boat performs and handles, and most importantly how was the boat looked after.
  • Visually inspect the boat for any obvious damage or repair work meaning that at some stage it’s been involved in an accident.
  • Check the condition of the hull. If it’s fibreglass, check for blisters, gouges, separation or leakage between the hull and the deck.
  • Is the boat equipped with a 2-Stroke or a 4-Stroke engine? The initial 
purchase of a 4-Stroke will be more expensive, but the cost of overall
 ownership will be a lot less.
  • Start the engine and check that the impeller is pumping a solid stream of
  • With the engine running check to see that the gearbox is working properly 
when engaging both forwards and reverse.
  • If the engine is equipped with power trim and tilt check the operation of the
  • Check to see that the steering system is free and smooth, or if the boat is
 equipped with Hydraulic steering that there are no hydraulic fluid leaks. If
 the boat is equipped with an engine larger than 90HP, it should ideally be
 rigged with hydraulic steering as this will greatly benefit your driving 
comfort and your overall boating experience, as well as future 
potential resale value.
  • Checking to see that the Transom is in good condition is absolutely crucial. Check that there are no cracks, stress fractures or rotting as this is
 potentially a very expensive repair, sometimes costing more than the 
actual value of the hull, making it not worthwhile to fix.
  • Check to see that the deck is sound and not cracked and sagging.
  • If there are inspection hatches in the deck, check the timbers below deck
 for integrity, eg. free of rot.
  • Check the trailer for corrosion and cracks, also check the wheel bearings 
because there should be no play in the wheels. A new trailer can cost up 
to R25 000               depending on the size of the boat, so the condition of the trailer 
plays a very             important role in your overall boating experience being a 
pleasurable one.
  • Preferably buy a used boat from the region in which you live, so that you have some sort of closer proximity recourse should there be any problems.
  • Finally before you arrive home with your new pride and joy, your Used Boat, make sure you that have your partner’s full consent to make that purchasing decision.       Rocking up at the house with something unannounced hitched to the back of your car could have unpleasant repercussions…!
    BOATING TIP-Used Boats copyIf any of these items do not check out, rather give your nearest Honda Marine dealer a call and let them assist you in appraising the vessel. It might save you from a bad experience and help to ensure that your time spent on the water is rather one full of fun and enjoyment.

    Info supplied by Honda Marine Somerset West


Some tips on how to maximise upon your quality time spent on the water together with your boat usage throughout the year
Boating Tip 1 copy

Spending quality time on the water is one of the most relaxing ways to pass ones often all too little leisure time, so it’s important that you make use of your boat throughout the year and not just during the festive season. Listed below are a few tips on how to perhaps best facilitate this:


Just because she’s kept down at the holiday home or kept in storage, doesn’t mean that you can’t tow her home with you and get usage out of her at your home base. Alternatively if this isn’t an option then you’ll just have to get down to the holiday home more often.
Boating Tip 4 copy


If an opportunity to explore presents itself when you’re in the car, on the motorbike or the mountain bike, more often than not you’ll give it a go. So why not do that with your boat, check out all the nearby boating venues and launch sites and go and have a look, try somewhere different and explore new waterways and broaden your boating possibilities.


Make sure that your boat is always in a state of readiness for use through regular servicing, basic checks, battery charged if required, so that it can be launched at a moment’s notice.
Boating Tip 2 copy

Encourage your family to learn new boating skills and to try new things, whether it’s waterskiing, wakeboarding or tubing. If they’re over 16 years old, motivate them to take a Skipper’s course so that they too can experience being at the helm first hand.

Most importantly invite your friends and spend quality time on the water away from the hustle and bustle of modern day life.


Subject to your boating location, always consider broadening the possibilities even further. Fishing is a great bonding option to do with the kids and friends, just make sure that you’ve got the right permits for both fishing and bait collection (if required) and that you’ve got some ‘insider’ advice from the local Fishing store.

Sometimes there is nothing better than to anchor up in a picturesque spot and just relax. If that’s too quiet then take a snorkel and some flippers, after that it’s off to dive school to get some proper training in taking the underwater scuba experience to the next level in a safe and responsible manner.

If currently you have a Category R ‘Restricted’ Skipper’s license for sheltered and inland waters, then maybe it’s time to upgrade to an offshore license to broaden your own boating skills and to extend your present boating boundaries. Certainly going out to sea can open the doors to a whole new world of boating opportunity and adventure, so why not remove any restrictions in your way and go deeper, you’ll never look back!


With being on, in or near the water on a more regular basis being the first prize, it’s maybe time to try some completely new options. Kayaking is a wonderful way to experience the water in a relaxing and healthy way, allowing you to venture places that bigger craft might not allow.
BOATING TIP-Kayaking copy

Have you ever been sailing? Well maybe it’s time to go have some Beginner’s lessons at your local inland or coastal sailing club. That in itself will broaden your ‘on the water’ options and overall experience, whilst at the same time bringing you into contact with like-minded people. Before you know it, you’ll be crew on some bigger yacht doing things you had never dreamed of.
BOATING TIP-Sailing copy

For more information or assistance with any of the above, pay a visit to your local Honda Marine dealer and let them share their specific regional experience with you.




The safety of your children is of paramount importance when spending quality time on the water this festive season

Peak season boating is about enjoying precious leisure time with family and friends on the water, particularly with your children. Sometimes though the water can be busy and dangerous, so from the outset it’s imperative to fully involve all children in the overall boating experience.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)/ Life Jackets: Put them on the children before they even get on the boat, and take them off only when they’re back on land. To motivate them to wear life jackets, take them to your nearest Honda Marine dealer and let them choose one which is to their liking. Another major motivator for them to wear life jackets is if all the adults wear life jackets at all times when on the boat as well.

Sunblock and Hat: Never underestimate the power of the sun and the reflecting UV rays when you’re on the water, even when it’s cloudy. Ensure that all children have hats to wear and that all exposed skin is covered with a layer of sunblock. Whatever the sunblock bottle proudly states, be sure to re-apply once the children return to the boat having ventured into the water.

Store Everything: Once on board make sure that all gear is safely stored away, so that the children can’t tread on loose items, particularly fishing hooks, or trip over ropes and bags. Often a sharp gust of wind can throw items up into the air that could potentially strike a child, so secure and pack away everything.

Skipper Briefing: It’s important that the Skipper, generally Mum or Dad, give a short briefing to the children. This will clearly establish the chain of command in that they must follow her or his instructions at all times, that they must stay seated the whole time that the boat is moving, and that they must stay in their allocated seat and not sit anywhere else on the boat when underway. How many times have you seen a gaggle of kids sitting on the bow of a boat with their feet hanging over the front, sometimes playing in the spray. One slip and the consequences can be very tragic. At all times, even when properly seated it’s always ‘one hand for themselves, one for the boat’.

Involve the children with the trip: On each trip make one of the children your No.2, giving him or her responsibilities to watch over the other children. Explain to everyone where you’re heading and if you have a depth finder and/ or GPS, get one of them to keep the others informed of what’s happening.

Watersports: Whenever the kids are waterskiing, wakeboarding or tubing, you must appoint someone to be the ‘watcher’ for those on or in the water, preferably an adult who in turn will also liaise with the skipper on what is needed. What’s more all those in the water should be taught basic hand signals from ‘Go’, ‘Go Slower’, ‘Go Quicker’, and ‘Stop’, otherwise communications will be ambiguous.

Following these basic safety tips will ensure that you and your family spend many happy and fun-filled hours on the water. All at Honda Marine wish everyone a safe boating season.



Gearing up for quality leisure time on the water this Summer…
Boating Tip2 copy 2
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.

Electrical System
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.

Fuel System
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.

Final Checks
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.