Spring means new boats for a lot of anglers. If you are lucky enough to be getting a new rig you need to follow a few simple steps to make sure you break it in right.
- The cold water of spring means warming up the main engine up before taking off on plane. Many boats today have digital gauges that will tell the actual engine temperature. Your manual will indicate the ideal temp—make sure you know what the optimal running temps are before just punching the throttle.
- Varying the throttle helps ensure that the rings seat properly. Every minute or two varying the engine by 500 rpm or more will ensure that the engine is broke in properly.
- Avoid long periods of idle if possible. Engines generally run a heavier oil concentration automatically and will cause the plugs to load up if run long enough.
- Trim down while running as much as possible to make the engine work. You want to put a load on the engine and avoid it sucking air.
- Kicker engines need to be run hard. Unlike your big engine the that needs to be babied, the small “kicker” engine is designed to be used for trolling, and it needs to be run with significant throttle in the first few hours.
- Good fuel means a lot in all engines, but breaking in your engine with low octane or fuel with high levels of ethanol is a bad deal.
Avoid running wide open throttle the first few hours of operation. After several running hours, short bursts are acceptable.
Use this as a basic guideline, but make sure to consult your owner’s manual—recommendations will vary from manufacture to manufacture. If you have a direct injected two stroke or a big four stroke engine procedures will vary. What is the same is that you will get better performance out of your engine if you give it a little TLC right out of the gate.
Capt. Ross Robertson