Since you’re browsing this website, you’ve proven yourself to be a person of impeccable taste and above average intelligence. A new Revival, like all quality investments, will benefit from a bit of TLC and preventative maintenance. We’re not talking about your annual-by-the-book engine services, but rather the simple steps that should be part of your regular pre and post boating routine.
Here are our Top 10 Tips to keeping your rig ship shape:
1/ DON'T FORGET TO FLUSH
You wouldn’t leave the bathroom without flushing, would you? Same goes for your outboard when using it in saltwater or less-than-pristine freshwater environments. Habitual flushing in a dedicated flush bucket or with a quality set of snug-fitting “earmuffs,” are the preferred options as they allow the engine to reach operating temperature enabling the the thermostats to open. Alternatively, all brands provide a back flush system allowing operators to flush the motor with hose pressure only. Just don't run the engine or you risk overheating you motor. Always consult your outboard manual.
2/ WASH YOUR BOAT'S BITS
Washing your boat, trailer and outboard every time you dunk your boat in the salt is the one sure-fire way to help protect your investment. As saltwater dries, salt crystallises on the fibreglass hull and any other exposed surfaces or stainless components dulling and degrading the surfaces. These days, car/boat washes are strategically located near boat ramps so there's no excuse to not treat your boat to a shower. Use liberal amounts of detergent after a freshwater rinse. Utilising a soft-bristle brush or large sponge will make things easy and remember to chamois to reduce water marks. Every six (6) months treat your hull to a hand or power buff to restore that showroom gleam.
3/ TRAILER TRASHED
Trailer’s tend to suffer extreme neglect despite the fact that your boat will spend more time with it than with you. Wash it religiously. Walk around it often, paying particular attention to the wheel bearings, lights and number plate mounts. Check your tyre pressure as it contributes dramatically to the trailer’s suspension and ride quality. This applies to your spare wheel as well. If you hadn’t haggled one out of your dealer, invest in one anyway and get some locking nuts or a cable lock while you’re at it. Check and adjust your brake cable and if you have electric brakes, check that they’re still functioning and adjust the in-car controller if required.
4/ GREASE IS THE WORD
Everything’s better with a bit of lube, so don’t neglect squirting a bit on your engine pivots and mounts to ensure smooth operation. While you're at it, grease your trailer hitch, brakes and bearings as well.
5/ SEE THINGS MORE CLEARLY
After rinsing and drying, spray your clears and Perspex windows liberally with a plastic cleaner/conditioner such as VuPlex or Plexus. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and see things more clearly for much, much longer. Just a reminder not to ever fold your clears. They definitely don’t lend themselves to spontaneous origami. Rolling them up and storing them while still wet is another no no!
6/ DON'T LOSE YOUR BEARINGS
Trailer bearings are often over-looked but regular dunking of hot wheels/bearings in cold water creates a suction effect that can draw water into the bearings and lead to permanent damage. Failed bearings can lead to wheel wobble or loss, neither of which ends well. Regular observation and maintenance is a must as are bearing protectors if not already installed on your trailer.
7/ THE GOOD OIL
Regardless of whether you have a Direct Injection (D.I.) 2-Stroke or High Tech 4-Stroke, ensuring that your outboard remains sufficiently lubricated is critical to its performance and long-term reliability. Stick with the manufacturer's recommendations, particularly with D.I.'s which are easily topped up via an internal or external oil bottle. Four-stroke oil levels should be checked periodically (similar to a car) via the dipstick which is usually colour-coded yellow. Four-Stroke oil changes are generally part of an outboard's annual or 100hr service.
8/ SCREEN TIME
Treat your electronics as the indispensable life-enhancing tools that they are. Keep a couple of microfiber cloths on board and rinse salt off your screen/screens with freshwater before wiping. Consider leaving a small spray bottle on board for the purpose. It also creates a refreshing mist on a warm day. Oh, and don’t let your mates touch it as they’re guaranteed to stuff it up every time!
9/ SPIN YOUR PROP
Everything revolves around your prop - excuse the pun. Regardless of whether its alloy or stainless steel, boat propellers are subjected to an immense amount of force as it drives your boat through the water. Even the smallest dent or chip can impact upon your boat's performance and cause excessive engine wear, vibration and increased fuel consumption so keep a wary eye out. If you do notice any imperfections, at least they are relatively easy and cost effective to repair. While looking over the prop, check out if any fishing line is caught around the prop shaft which could potentially damage the seals and your gearbox.
10/ FREE OF CHARGE
There’s nothing worse than getting to the ramp only to discover your battery/batteries are flat or below the minimum threshold to crank the motor over. There’s a couple of things you can do to minimise the chance of this happening to you. Keep your battery/batteries topped up by installing a CTEK Battery Charger to keep the juice flowing when the boat’s parked in your driveway or get a VSR Battery Management System installed in your boat to maintain charge in single or multi-battery installation while running. At a bare minimum, you should at least have a battery isolator/selector installed to manually direct current to your battery system and to isolate it from power-hungry accessories when not required. Try cranking the engine over before leaving home to avoid self-inflicted ramp rage.