Last month I ended up with some water in my outboard motor.
It was a costly exercise as the fuel system had to be stripped down, the water removed and all filters replaced.
Check your water trap!
In 30 years of charters I had never encountered this issue before because I am usually very diligent checking the water trap and replacing the filters regularly.
This time however, I dropped the ball for a little bit longer than I should have; And the end result was water in the outboard motor.
As a consequence, I thought it timely to do a blog on the topic. Especially with all the bad weather about and anglers leaving their boats sitting for longer periods unused during extended wet periods.
Water in outboard motors can have detrimental effects on injectors, fuel pumps and can eventually destroy your pistons.
Check your fuel filter monthly.
I typically check my fuel filter every month, especially if the boat has been in the rain (watch the o-ring on your fuel cap as an entry point). Unfortunately, now that I’m no longer doing charters and focusing on our online fishing courses, my maintenance schedule is a bit out of whack and I paid the price!
Also in some boats the fuel filter can be hidden in a compartment and it’s a case of “out of sight out of mind”. So please be diligent and check your water trap every couple of outings.
Watch troubleshooting video below and avoid water in your outboard fuel.
In order to get a good handle on the issue, I spoke to outboard mechanic Ian Walters. Ian provided some great tips on troubleshooting the issue before it can do any harm and how to avoid the issue altogether!
Also beware (speaking from experience again!) modern engines do not like dirty fuel.
We pulled in right after the refueling truck and the refill must have stirred up the tank. So… be very wary about what you add to your tank!
It’s also advisable to add a stabilizing additive if you are planning on storing your boat for any period of time.
Or better still, don’t fill up before doing so and go get some fresh fuel when you head out on your next adventure. Which one? Ask your local outboard mechanic or a dealership relevant to your outboard brand and model.
Downloadable cheat sheets
Have you got all our relevant cheat sheets? Click the links to get your copy.
Don’t miss out on any of our tips plus go in the draw to win a day fishing with Ryan by joining our free fishing community. Simply enter your name and email below.