Outboard Motor & Refueling System

I make no bones about my outboard motor.  I know many sailors feel it is somehow cheating a bit, or maybe beneath them to consider such a modern day device.  I totally get this thinking and sometimes I’m actually tempted to adopt such a creed.  But here’s the deal.  I have a multitude of hobbies, a large family and a demanding job.  Given these complications/blessings in my life, I’ve come to fully accept modern technology (in moderation).

With that as a backdrop, let’s discuss my outboard motor.

DSC00437First off, I love my outboard motor bracket.  It’s simple, beautiful, practical and rock solid.  When I motored with my West Wight Potter 15, the aluminum motor bracket vibrated and made quite a racket.  This outboard bracket, with not moving parts, is dead silent.  I also love my 2.5 Suzuki.  It’s liquid cooled, as light as the Honda, has a gear box (N and F) for warm up and can pull two additional Scamp with no problems.

DSC00569Towing Serenity and Jeff’s beautiful #284 on a no wind afternoon.  Hence, with the outboard you can serve as a rescue boat…which is fun and practical.

DSC00432I noticed the outboard was somewhat stiff to rotate within it’s steering bracket.  Upon further inspection, I notice the drag was coming from the lower rotation collar.  After applying a little bicycle grease (which tends to solve every problem in life), the noise and friction went completely away.  Yay, problem solved.

Did I mention I hit an oyster bed after towing a Northeastern Dory around Rat Island?  It banged up my aluminum prop a bit, creating a rough edge on the blades.  DSC00431I took a metal file and cleaned up the edges.  This took almost no time at all and made me feel better.  I also learned if you want to remove the prop, you’ll need both regular and needle nose pliers.  Note for tool box…Needle nose to straighten the cotter pin and regular pliers to remove the cotter pin. 

Next I wanted to simplify the refueling process.  It is fairly difficult to refuel out on the water.  With the boat movement and wave action, refueling can be quite an issue.  Additionally, I learned that 1 Liter of extra fuel is not quite enough for comfort, especially when towing others.  After giving it some thought, here’s my solution.

DSC00423I’ve already expounded on the merits of the venerable Nalgene bottle.  I love the quality and size.  With this in mind, I created (2) 1 Liter fuel bottles paired with a correctly sized fuel funnel to prevent spillage.

DSC00417I tethered the funnel to the fuel bottle so I can’t drop it overboard.  When one fuel bottle is empty, I’ll switch the tether to the remaining fuel bottle.  Finally, I wrapped duck tape (useful for a multitude of situations) around the fuel bottles for clear identification.  I plan to store the fuel bottles in a separate location than my drinking bottles to avoid any late night confusion. DSC00440The funnel fits perfectly inside the fuel tank opening and the large diameter allows for quick refueling.  I also like the shape of this funnel.  The high side allows for quick dumping of the fuel into the funnel. No spillage, no mess, with an environmentally friendly 4 stroke motor. 

The literature for my outboard says it holds 0.984 liters of fuel, but I’ve found that a full liter of fuel fits perfectly into an empty tank without any spillage.  This makes the 1 liter Nalgene bottle the perfect size fuel container.  


2 thoughts on “Outboard Motor & Refueling System

  1. I had a similar issue with my old 2 stroke 2 hp Suzuki. Just carrying one internal tankful of fuel didn’t give me enough range backup, just in case. Never did figure out how far I could go on one tank, before I sold that boat and motor. And, on my local lake, I stopped using the motor altogether the last year I sailed. But anyway. I used to use a 1l MSR fuel bottle. Then I heard that gasoline (and probably ethanol in particular) wouldn’t play nicely with the exposed aluminum of the fuel bottle. I also learned about Optimus fuel bottles: http://www.optimusstoves.com/us/us/311-8018995-optimus-fuel-bottle-l-1.0-l-child-safe-cap which are lined in epoxy. So, I bought two of these for fuel, which extended my range to 3x full internal fuel tanks. (Like yours, my 2 stroke internal tank volume was just about 1 liter, so the 1l fuel bottle was ideal.) So, maybe you want to change out from the Nalgene bottles, because I wouldn’t trust them with gasoline.

  2. Brian, the Nalgene seem to be working fine. I guess my reasoning went like this: If an old red contorted plastic gerry jug can hold fuel, a Nalgene should work just fine. Not sure I’m right, but that is how the logic or bad logic flowed.


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