Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Boating | 1 comment

Before you start your boat there are a few things you should do. If your sterndrive boat is in the water, open the motor cover or hatch and check the bilge area for any water that might have leaked into the boat from a hull leak or a heavy rain if the boat is not covered.. You might have an automatic bilge pump installed in the bottom area of the bilge that automatically pumps out any water that reaches a certain level. If you do not have an auto pump it would be a good idea to get one. You should also smell for any gas fumes that might be present if there is a fuel system leak. If you smell gas,do not start the boat and have a mechanic check it out. Check for any engine oil, power steering fluid or trim and tilt oil leaks. If every thing looks alright and there are gas fumes present, always run the blower motor for a few minutes before starting the engine to get any gas fumes out of the bilge that you might be there. Then you can start the engine. Let it warm up a little before you get under way and do not go full speed until it is at full operating temperature.

Sterndrive boats have a trim and tilt system on them that makes the drive unit go up and down. Usually located in the throttle handle so you can operate the throttle and the trim at the same time. Older boats might have the trim/tilt switch on the dashboard. The tilt system makes the drive go all the way up and down as far as it is going to get for trailering the boat. The trim system only brings the drive up a little ways and is used when driving the boat. You use the trim for the best way to operate the boat. Trim down the boat bow goes down, trim it up and the bow goes up.

When taking off from fromĀ  just a slow speed, trim the drive all the way down for faster take off and as you advance the throttle and the boat gains speed, trim the drive up so the boat will ride on top of the water instead of plowing through it. Once the boat has planed off you can play with the trim button up or down depending on how you would like the boat to ride in the water. In sharp turns the trim might have to be trimmed down a little if the prop comes out of the water and starts revving up and loses speed This is called cavitation. Just trim it down until the prop connects fully with the water again.

If you do not know the boating regulations and operating laws in your state you can contact your states DNR agency or your local boat dealer to get this information.