Maintenance Matters: Breaking ‘Em in Right


Maintenance Matters: Breaking ‘Em in Right

By Capt. Ted Lund

A new outboard engine is one of the single most valuable investments any boater can make, whether on a new-boat build or when repowering an old classic.

But new outboard motors — like the SHO 250 from leading marine manufacturer Yamaha Outboards — require a break-in period to ensure that all of the surface areas of critical internal components develop the finish required for smooth operation and years of dependable service. Yamaha Outboards’ tech team recommends a three-step approach to making the break-in process simple and fun.

The entire process takes about 10 hours of operation and can usually be accomplished in a single day for single and multi-engine installations — providing you have the time. Best of all, breaking in a new outboard is a great excuse to grab the rods and go fishing.

Prior to starting the break-in period, be sure to follow standard boating safety procedures:

  1. File a float plan with a relative or friend and let them know where you’ll be running and when you plan on returning.
  2. Carry safety gear including flares, a noise making device and communication equipment including VHF radios or cell phones. Include your cell phone number and VHF handle in your float plan.
  3. Make sure to wear an inflatable PFD or similar device, especially if boating solo.
  4. Inspect dock lines, navigation lights as well as anchor and ground tackle to ensure they are in working order.
  5. Prior to leaving the dock, verify that your compass and chartplotter/GPS unit are working and request a radio check.
  6. Check all of the fluid levels on your outboard(s), and verify you are carrying enough fuel for the trip.
  7. Start your engine(s) and check all of your gauges.

Once dockside checks are complete, it’s time to hit the water. For the first hour of use, Yamaha recommends running your engine(s) at 2,000 RPMs. This is a great chance to search out new water or explore bottom contours with your fish finder as well as make a few casts.

Maintenance Matters: Breaking ‘Em in Right

During the second hour of operation, boaters should increase speed just enough to get the vessel on a plane. Once up and running, back off on the throttles to minimum planing speed. It may take a little experimentation to dial the speed in just right. For saltwater anglers, this is an excellent opportunity to enjoy high-speed trolling for species like wahoo, dolphin and king mackerel.

The final eight hours of the break-in period is a great time to experience a wide range of performance levels, from idle speed to wide-open throttle. But Yamaha’s tech team recommends not running at wide open for more than five minutes at a time. This can manifest itself in the form of a full day of fishing, but it is also a prime time to get used to docking, handling or maneuvering in close corners. On larger vessels, boaters can use fixed structures like navigational buoys, markers, bridges or docks to familiarize themselves with their boat’s handling characteristics. Some even go as far as setting up an “obstacle course” of floating poly balls or styrofoam floats to simulate docking conditions and allowing them to learn to handle their vessel without damaging it or the dock! On multiple engine installations, it’s also a great opportunity to practice with intuitive controls like Yamaha’s Helm Master.

On completing the 10-hour break-in, your engine is ready for regular use.

Proper break-in is a critical part of making sure you and your family enjoy many years of safe,hassle-free outboard fun. At you can find a complete resource guide for keeping your outboard in tip-top shape. The Maintenance Matters page has links to more than a dozen topics with brochures, videos, preventative maintenance tips and more.

Remember, when it comes to peak performance and extended life for your outboard motor, maintenance matters.

Original Source: Sportsmans



Visit Us

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial