When It comes to choosing inboard or petrol Boat Outboard.

Boat (inboard/Outboard) Engine Tips

The synthetic tanks that hold the hydraulic fluid for your power steering can weaken and crack with age or heat, which cause them to dump out needed fluid. Any fluid - water, soda to get rid of carbonation first, engine oil - will work to get you home. When you get back, have your mechanic flush out and recondition the system completely.

What to do if you've dropped the only ignition key overboard - Do you have practice hot-wiring and stealing cars? If not, follow this tip. Run an insulated wire from the positive terminal on the battery to the terminal on the coil marked "BAT" or "+". This will bypass the ignition and get you home.

What you do if your drive belt suddenly breaks - Use a small length of line that can fit in the V-belt pulleys, you may use a strand of your anchor rode for line. Loosen the adjustment arm for the belt(drive ) as much as possible, and tie the line tightly with a square knot. To keep the line from snagging, use duct or electrical tape to "streamline" the knot and line ends.

Here's a temporary solution for cracked spark plug wires - Use duct tape to hold the wires together to keep dampness away from the bare plug cables. Make sure you cover the entire cable, even if you only see a small crack , because there may be others that could short the wires.

What to do if your small outboard motor has a broken shear pin and the prop won't turn - If you replace the pin with anything substantial, you risk damaging the entire engine if you hit something. What you can do just to get your boat home is slip a small bolt in place. Be careful on your way home and replace the bolt with the proper shear pin when you get there.

What do you do if you're losing large amounts of engine oil from a leaky gasket and you don't have a spare? A marine chart makes an ideal temporary gasket. Simply remove the old gasket, place it on the chart as a template, and cut out a replacement. For more thickness, use additional layers of chart.

Fueling your tank, dos and don'ts - Do ask passengers to leave the boat, turn off engines, electricity, heat sources and radios, close windows and doors, open all ventilation to fuel tanks, and tie up close to the dock. Do wipe up spills immediately and alert the dock attendant. Do check the bilge for signs of fuel leakage and run your bilge blowers for a few minutes after fueling. Don't start the engine if you smell fuel, and don't smoke or top off your tank.

What if your engine water pump goes bad - Simply run a hose from your raw-water washdown to the engine cooling intake. Be sure not to run the engine too fast, because you won't get enough cooling water for high speeds.

What to do if your engine starts to overheat - There may be some kind of obstruction blocking the water intake, so check this first. If this is the case, remove the obstruction, allow the motor to cool, and restart it. If you've fried the water pump impeller and you don't have a spare, pour fresh water through a funnel into a plug in the water jacket of your engine. Keep a close eye on the temp gauge and shut the engine down if it starts to overheat.

Here's a remedy for a broken distributor rotor: Bend a paperclip and tape it firmly to the remains of your plastic rotor, while the curved edge touches the distributor cap spark plug leads.

How to make your motor more efficient - It is best if the propeller is angled slightly so that it does not lift or drag the hull. If it is angled incorrectly, your boat can lose a lot of power.

Yacht & Boat Builders

 List of Boat Dealers, services, National listing

Boat Parts, Equipment and Accessories

Boating Articles, Safety, Guides & Tips, "How To" Prevent and fix

IPS Drives - Volvo Penta on the 70-foot Spencer

Electric Outboards Motors - Advantages and Disadvantages

OutBoard fishing - Techniques

Hardware Installation on wooden boats - Hardware installation methods, problems and principles of Bonding and Fasteners

Features of a jet driven - advantages and disadvantages

Outboard record and racing - old article published 1958 in 'Outboard Boating'

The Mariner - quality engineering Outboards: 2 and 4 stroke engines, spanning 2.5 hp to 300 hp include Electric versions

E15 fuel - NOT EPA-approved its use in boats

12-volt flow control valve - (Storage Problems) How to Avoiding Fuel Theft

Inboard & Outboard motor services

Hard Starting Cold Engines

do it your self motor technique - the way of
getting 100-plus inboard power for your boat

Boat Articles, Guides, Commentary and archival articles & helpful information

 auto engine converted to marine use

How to engine technique

Learn how to convert compact car engine to marine use inboard

"Manning a Champion"

A salvaged auto engine and some do-it-yourself technique add up to the least-expensive way of getting 100-plus inboard power for your boat

By WILLIAM D. JACKSON Craft Print Project No. 331

See full text below

If you have shied away from building or owning an inboard engine-powered boat because of the high cost of marine engines, you'll find that compact auto engines converted to marine use were meant for you. Also, their simplieity, as compared to larger and older engines, and their high horsepower to weight ratings make them a first choice among performance minded do it yourself boat builders.

The conversion technique also applies to many water-cooled, six-cylinder engines such as the Champion, Lark, Falcon, Comet, or, where more power is required and light weight is less important, Chevrolets, Plymouths and Hudsons.

These engines are available atmost auto salvage yards and you'll have no trouble getting replacement or conversion parts when necessary. If you prefer you can use a new or rebuilt engine in this class, but be sure you are getting a complete engine and not a shortblock rebuilt, wheie you are exoeetcd to have the cylinder head, oil pan. and other acces- sories that are needed in the conversion.

Cleaning Up. If the engine you select comes from a salvage yard, chances are It will be covered with grime. No engine can operate at its full potential in this condition and because It would also create a fire hazard when installed in a boat, it must be cleaned up.

Begin cleaning with a degrasing agent such as Gunk; follow by scrubbing with a brush and kerosene, and finally rinse With cleat water. The original conversion waa then sprayed with two coats of aluminum paint while the areas not to be covered were masked off.

Begin the conversion by removing the fan to expose the bolts holding the water pump, then take this off. Next remove the manifolds and take out the studs that hold them In place, using a small pipe wrench or locking pillers. Replace the exluuist manifold studs with 4 2/4-in. lengths of 5/16in. threaded rod, flat washers, and hex nuts. Chamfer each end of the studs and lock two nuts near one end of each so a wrench can be used to install them. Attach the manifold to the block and then install the intake manifold on this with 1 1/2in. studs. Use new gaskets with a liberal coating of Permatex #2 on the mating surfaces.

Wator Pump. An adaptor plate in cut to fit where the water pump was located. The plate detailed in Fig. 4F was made for a 1957 Studebaker Champion, but, because tho mounting may vary on other models and be- cause you have your choice of several suit- able water pumps, it is best to lay out the openings from the block and pump on cardboard first. Be sure the welded pipe fitting (Fig. 1) is located low enough to clear the drive belt. Scribe the outline of the pattern on 3/14in steel and mark the center for the openings through the cardboard with a prick punch. Cut out the plate with a hacksaw and smooth the edges on a grinding wheel.

After welding the 3/8in. pipe nipple in place to form a rigid, leakproof Joint, lead this line out and over the belt drive with 3/8in. pipe and pipe elbows. Now attach the marine water pump to the plate and attach the assembly to the block with the original bolts and a new gasket.

To get Peak Performance from your marine conversion, install a 160 F automotivetype thermostat. Drill four 3/16in. holes around the rim (fig. 3E), however, to assure a constant supply of water to cool the manifold even when the thermostat is closed. This will lower the operating temperature by

some 10°, but still keep the operating temperature in peak range. Insert the thermostat before Installing tho gooseneck (Fig. 1), positioning the thermostat according to the instructions stamped on it. The cast gooseneck that originally returned the water from the block to the radiator is now removed and a 3/8in. pipe brazed in the opening (Fig. 3D). The forward end of the pipe is threaded into a lock nut large enough to cover the outlet, followed by brazing the nut to the gooseneck and the pipe. Replace the gooseneck si the outlet is pointing aft, 180° from Its original position.

Now replace the carburetor and fit a tilt shim (Fig. 1) to keep the carburetor float bowl level. Tne angle of the shim must equal the angle of the installed engine. Make this shim as in Fig. 3F from hard maple and then saturate the finished piece with an epoxy resin such as is used to apply fiberglass cloth. Install the shim between the carburetor and the intake manifold with now gaskets on each side of It. If you will use your boat often In temperatures below 40°F, have an aluminum or brass shim made, using the wooden shim as a pattern for casting.

Engine Brackets. Use cardboard patterns to deteimine the shape of the aft engine brackets, and the location of the mounting holes. Make a separate pattern for each side and transfer the shape of these to 3/8in steel. Cut these brackets to shape with a torch and then weld up the assemblies as in Fig. 4 Use machine bolts 3/8in. longer than the original bolts for Installing the brackets to the gear caasing (Fig. 1). The forward engine mounts are then replaced with brackets heated and bent up from 5/14-in. steel (Fig. 4C). The exhaust pipe adapter (Fig. 1) is a 6-ln. length of 1 1/2-in. pipe, in the top of which a 3/4-in, hole has been drilled. Braze a 4-in length of 3/8-in. pipe into this hole so the pipe slants oft 30°. Now thread the assembly Into the aft end of the manifold and connect the 3/8-in. pipe to the gooseneck fitting with3/8-in. id hose and hose clamps.

Pipe fittings and neoprene hose are also used when making the connections at the water pump. This avoids sharp bends that could kink and shut off the water supply. One line lends from the outlet tide of the pump and goes to the water-cooled manifold (fig. 1). The outlet at the aft end of the manifold in then connected to the brazed fitting at the pump plate. After the engine is installed, the water Intake scoop at the hull is connected to the intake side of the pump.

Flash-Back Arrestor. Coast Guard safety requirements demand that your engine be equipped with u carburetor flash-bock arrestor (Fig. 4E). To make this, cut away the original air clearer as in Fig. 4G and attach the sheet metal box filled with copper or steel wool.

Replace two of the nuts that hold the cylinder head in place with lift rings to use when installing the engine in the hull. Weld the rings from 1 -in. Id eye bolts to the nuts (Fig. 1) and then cut away the ring above the opening in the nut. Retap this to be sure the stud can be threaded through, allowing the nut to be tightened.

Gear Box. Use a 1948 to 1951 Studebaker tiansmission as a gear box to go with your converted engine. These transmissions (fig. 3A) will fit Studebaker engines up to 1958.

First remove the access plate at the top of the transmission and shot ten the shift Interlock (Fig. 3C) so it does not actuate the low and Intermediate gears, enabling the shift from forward to reverse to be made in a straight fore-and-aft motion. Also remove the shifting

levers (Fig. 3A) and heal and straighten these so extensions can be welded into them. reassemble the levers on the shift rods and connect them with the tie rod.

Next cut off the drive shaft tube 1 3/4 In. from the aft edges of the universal Joint and weld on one half of the flange coupling (Fig. 3A). When the transmission is attached to the engine and you have Installed the shaft log and strut in your boat, you are ready to put the engine in place.

Thrust Bearing. Adjust the mounting brockets with shims or by notching into the engine beds so thut the angle between the transmission shaft and the propeller shaft is no more than 5°. Then slide the set collars, thrust bearings and pillow block (fig, 3A) onto the propeller shaft and assemble the flange coupling.

Locate the pillow block about 6 in. from the coupling and then cut an angled block to support it. Slight adjustments In this support can be mode by sliding It fore and aft along the keelson until the pillow block can be fastened to it without binding Next slide the shaft assembly aft 1/4 to 1/2 In. and bring One thrust bearing snugly against the aft side of the pillow block, securing it by tightening the set collar. This bearing will absorb the forward thrust on the shaft and prevent it from being transmitted to the gear case where it would do considerable damage. Be sure the pillow block is lubricated with SAE 20 oil after each 10 hours of running time.

Sterndrive Engines

Over the past decade, the boating industry has witnessed a dramatic increase in the size of trailerable boats. During this period, advances in outboards have been nothing less than remarkable.

Sterndrive developments

Haven't been quite so exciting, but this is rapidly changing, thanks to emerging fly-by-wire technology, joystick controls and emissions regulations for inboards. The same force responsible for the spurt in outboards is now fueling a renaissance in inboard/outboard motors, as manufacturers scramble to comply with new emissions rules.

On the engine side, the emphasis continues to be on larger and more and more powerful Outboards. Topping this year's field is Yamaha's sophisticated F350 V-8 four-stroke, the largest outboard ever, but there's competition at the 300 hp level, too, as Suzuki, Mercury, Yamaha and Evinrude - all offer models in this souped-up category. Also look for high-performance V-6 launches by teams 'Rude, Suzy and Merc.

One of the two most significant changes in the trailer boat market is the Yami F350 in the outboard category and MerCruiser’s Vazer in the sterndrive category.


Built with a compact design the 100 hp Vazer is intended to open up new uses for sterndrives. MerCruiser designed this low-profile unit for aluminum fishing rigs and pontoon boats. Based on the 1.6L (98 cid) inline-four block, the engine is laid on its side at a 50-degree angle so it fits in tight spaces. This is an overhead cam engine with a closed cooling system, plus a modified Alpha drive that can be fully tilted without striking the swim platform. The 2.58:1 and optional 2.77:1 gear ratios allow the high-revving Vazer to maintain good low-end grunt. The low-profile manifold has been designed to accept a catalytic converter.

Joystick control system (Axius)

Another noteworthy development is the Axius joystick control system (Full 360 degree movement) that works in conjunction with twin-engine MerCruiser-powered boats. Currently, MerCruiser provide two versions: Joystick Piloting for Outboards Joystick Zeus1 - Piloting for Pods.

At docking speeds, computer controls for shift and throttle functions, coupled with independent computer steering control for each drive, allow the boat to be maneuvered in any direction. Push the joystick forward, the boat goes forward. Push it harder and the powerboat goes faster. Twist the joystick and the boat will pivot in its own length. As simple as possible this makes maneuvering in tight quarters, meaning less experienced crewmembers can now have confidence they're able to bring their boats up to the dock unscathed.

Volvo Penta Sterndrive

An exciting addition to Volvo Penta's line is a fly-by-wire shift and throttle system for its EFI sterndrives. Called Electronic Vessel Control (EVC), the optional system promises smoother, more precise control, as well as highly detailed engine management information.

Also is an automatic boat trim system for Volvo's unique tab design, which features vertical blades that protrude down instead of using horizontal plates that extend aft. Simply trim the boat for best speed and comfort, push a button and the trim system will hold that attitude indefinitely no need to constantly adjust the trim as people move from side to side or fore to aft.

On the diesel sterndrive side, Volvo's lineup sees some substantial horsepower increases in the D4 and D6 models. Combined with low emissions the D4-300(on photo) 4-cylinder is now available with 291 propshaft hp, and the D6-370 has a propshaft rating of 355 hp; EVC is now standard on both engines. Joystick control is available on Volvo sterndrive diesels up to 400-hp.

Gallon per hour estimates - How to find your most economical cruising speed