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Old 08-24-2016, 04:42 PM   #1
thinkxingu
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Default How much punishment can an outboard take?

At the east side of Ragged Island today and slightly tapped a rock with the bullet part of the outboard (in front of the prop) at floating speed, i.e. barely moving, but it got me thinking: how much banging around can am outboard motor take?

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Old 08-24-2016, 09:50 PM   #2
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Well...it depends

I have never broken a gear case on any of my stern drive boats. I have taken a chunk out of a skeg and damaged about six props. I do not know how much of a tilt the out drive will do if hit hard. It seems that the large mass of the lower unit hitting a rock at speed could destroy it.

My little 4 and 5hp Mercury outboards definately take a lickin' and keep on tickin'!

The bullet end of the gear cases on those look like the surface of the moon. I've run them so shallow on gravel and stone that "roto-tiller" comes to mind.

So...are you feeling lucky???
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:52 AM   #3
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They can take quite a bit of abuse. There's a range of impact that will make them overwhelm the mechanism that keep the engine from tilting up in reverse, by design, but not break. Despite that, you can still break them if you are going fast enough.

If you hit something at low speed with the nose cone, and the entire engine did not pop up, you are fine.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:43 AM   #4
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I bumped the bullet of my Yamaha 350 this year against a rock going headway speed. Gouged and scratched it and also dented the bottom of my center toon. Called my insurance company (Progressive) as I wanted to file a claim just in case something happens down the road. The rep came to the Glendale docks took one look at it and said everything gets replaced! An entire new lower unit including gears on the 350 and a new center toon. I asked why they were replacing everything and he stated they don't take chances as the dent was near a baffle weld in the pontoon and the weld could be compromised internally. The bullet because the aluminum was gouged gets replaced and its cheaper to purchase a whole new lower unit than to pay labor to switch internal gears from one case to another....Estimate for repair was $14,000.00! Had check two days after rep looked at it. Having the work done over the winter...

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Old 08-25-2016, 08:02 AM   #5
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I bumped the bullet of my Yamaha 350 this year against a rock going headway speed. Gouged and scratched it and also dented the bottom of my center toon. Called my insurance company (Progressive) as I wanted to file a claim just in case something happens down the road. The rep came to the Glendale docks took one look at it and said everything gets replaced! An entire new lower unit including gears on the 350 and a new center toon. I asked why they were replacing everything and he stated they don't take chances as the dent was near a baffle weld in the pontoon and the weld could be compromised internally. The bullet because the aluminum was gouged gets replaced and its cheaper to purchase a whole new lower unit than to pay labor to switch internal gears from one case to another....Estimate for repair was $14,000.00! Had check two days after rep looked at it. Having the work done over the winter...

Dan
Wow. Make sure to ask for the old parts back from whomever does the work.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:27 AM   #6
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Wow. Make sure to ask for the old parts back from whomever does the work.
Wow is right. Unless the insurance company wants the parts back (doubtful) make sure you get them - the shop is certainly going to re-purpose them for more profit.
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:34 AM   #7
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Default Inertia!

In simple terms.... it depends on what you are driving.

It is all about the inertia of the object.... a 400lb rowboat has exponentially less inertia at 3MPH than say a 3500lb small runabout does. So when the outboard torpedo strikes a rock, the force transmitted in the strike varies due to the mass of the object the outboard is powering.

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Old 08-25-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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Default Look close

Do a close visual inspection after a hit. I recall going on a service call because the engine "didn't shift properly". Prop looked OK and they had driven the boat home and everything operated OK. When I looked at it, there was a crack in the lower unit, and all the gear case lube had leaked out.
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:30 AM   #9
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Do a close visual inspection after a hit. I recall going on a service call because the engine "didn't shift properly". Prop looked OK and they had driven the boat home and everything operated OK. When I looked at it, there was a crack in the lower unit, and all the gear case lube had leaked out.
Just took a look (and feel): tiny chip in the center edge of the skeg and very slight scratching below. Boat drove fine coming home (about 30-minutes), so I'm thinking I'm fine. Agreed?

PS The frustrating part is that had I jumped off the front and pushed back immediately instead of going back to look over, I'm not even sure I would've got the chip as I think it was my weight in the back. Grrr...

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Old 08-25-2016, 12:31 PM   #10
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I have to confess that I touch the bottom more often than I probably should with my boat's lower gear case/skeg/props. I like to "gunkhole" and it comes with the territory. Always at low speed and with no meaningful damage The only time I did any damage hitting the bottom with my current boat was backing off my trailer and backed directly into a rock. That hit broke my gimbal ring and was an an insurance claim.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thinkxingu View Post
Just took a look (and feel): tiny chip in the center edge of the skeg and very slight scratching below. Boat drove fine coming home (about 30-minutes), so I'm thinking I'm fine. Agreed?

PS The frustrating part is that had I jumped off the front and pushed back immediately instead of going back to look over, I'm not even sure I would've got the chip as I think it was my weight in the back. Grrr...

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I had a stainless steel Skeggard on my bowrider that I just sold...with all these low water levels I'm thinking the new Yamaha 150 could benefit from one...when I kissed a few rocks with the Skeggard in place, there was no damage to any part of the parts protected by the guard.
Something to think about...
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Old 08-25-2016, 03:12 PM   #12
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I had a stainless steel Skeggard on my bowrider that I just sold...with all these low water levels I'm thinking the new Yamaha 150 could benefit from one...when I kissed a few rocks with the Skeggard in place, there was no damage to any part of the parts protected by the guard.
Something to think about...
How many people use skeg protection here? I only had my old boat two seasons, but we're pretty careful and only just barely clipped a rock with one of the toons and nothing at all for damage.

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Old 08-25-2016, 05:43 PM   #13
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I got one on my stern drive, was there when I bought my boat (used). Looking at it seems as though if that does get hit hard enough it'll more than likely break the entire skeg off since it has far less give to it than plain aluminum.

I do think for minor low speed incidental contact it'll provide good protection and they do look pretty cool. Not sure I'd throw down a c-note for one but I've also never kissed the bottom either. I'm sure my day will come it happens to everyone sooner or later.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:05 PM   #14
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Here's a pic--chip looks so perfect, it looks factory! What would y'all do with this? Let it be, get it fixed?

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Old 08-27-2016, 09:42 PM   #15
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Well...

I wouldn't fix that, your spedometer will stop working!

If I am looking in the right place, that perfect notch in the leading edge of your outdrive is where water pressurizes the tube leading to the speedometer.
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Old 08-28-2016, 06:12 AM   #16
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Well...

I wouldn't fix that, your spedometer will stop working!

If I am looking in the right place, that perfect notch in the leading edge of your outdrive is where water pressurizes the tube leading to the speedometer.
I'm talking about where the arrow points in the attached pic--are you referring to the side section? Name:  uploadfromtaptalk1472382739040.jpg
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Size:  60.5 KB

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Old 08-28-2016, 06:43 AM   #17
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Have you run it wide open after the ding? I would think you're fine, As long as there's no vibration at speed. If you're worried though, lower unit is easy (or cheap) to take apart. There pretty tough as I learned when I back up my driveway with the motor down. Dug right into the tar, scraped up and slightly bent the skeg. No more 42mph, will only hit 39 now.
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Old 08-28-2016, 07:54 AM   #18
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Yes, I am referring to the notch pointed to by the arrow.

Here is a picture that should relieve your worries:


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Old 08-28-2016, 07:58 AM   #19
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Here's a photo of the speedo pitot:


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Old 08-28-2016, 08:03 AM   #20
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Ha! That's great news! I was wondering how I would've done that. The only thing, then, is a light scratch on the bottom of the skeg, which shouldn't be an issue. Thanks!

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Old 08-28-2016, 08:13 AM   #21
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Ya but,

The rock's attorney called...
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:41 AM   #22
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Default Bullet Damage

Here's the gouges on my 350 bullet that they are repacing completely....
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Old 08-28-2016, 08:43 AM   #23
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Default Toon Damage

Here's the center toon damage. That is being replaced as well.....
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:19 AM   #24
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Here's the center toon damage. That is being replaced as well.....
Yeah, that looks like considerable, damage to me!
May I ask where the culprit rock was?
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:21 AM   #25
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^^ Ouch, Is that the elliptical? What do you think of the performance compared to the (was it) Premier? sorry about the hijack question.
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:30 AM   #26
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Yeah, that looks like considerable, damage to me!
May I ask where the culprit rock was?
Braun Bay believe it or not. Someone moved the Clorox bottle on the rock by the raft by about 50' so I was staying away from the bottle when all of a sudden...well you know the rest! Good thing I was only going about 3-4 mph. I should of known better as I never usually go inside or East of the raft but it was very early in the season and no one was in the bay and I was just taking putt with friends and decided to swing the bay wide... The rocks are clearly noted on Bizers map you just have to look at it!! Needless to say the Clorox bottle is back where it belongs...

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Old 08-28-2016, 09:35 AM   #27
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Here's the gouges on my 350 bullet that they are repacing completely....
I haven't seen those vent like structures on the sides of the gear case. Are they a shallow water cooling pick up?

What brand/model is this power package?
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Old 08-28-2016, 09:36 AM   #28
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^^ Ouch, Is that the elliptical? What do you think of the performance compared to the (was it) Premier? sorry about the hijack question.
Didn't care for the hull on my Premier. It rode OK but too high out of the water and was affected by wind much more than the Benny or my Previous Manitou for that matter especially when docking. The Benny is a little longer than my old Premier at 27' but it rides super nice even in good chop. My old Manitou hull always impressed me and I would love to see how a 27' Manitou hull would be compared to the Benny...but I do love the Bennington!!

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Old 08-28-2016, 09:38 AM   #29
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I haven't seen those vent like structures on the sides of the gear case. Are they a shallow water cooling pick up?

What brand/model is this power package?
It's a Yamaha 350 V-8. I'm pretty sure that is their low water intake...

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Old 08-28-2016, 09:54 AM   #30
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Braun Bay believe it or not. Someone moved the Clorox bottle on the rock by the raft by about 50' so I was staying away from the bottle when all of a sudden...well you know the rest! Good thing I was only going about 3-4 mph. I should of known better as I never usually go inside or East of the raft but it was very early in the season and no one was in the bay and I was just taking putt with friends and decided to swing the bay wide... The rocks are clearly noted on Bizers map you just have to look at it!! Needless to say the Clorox bottle is back where it belongs...

Dan
Wow...good to know about the clorox bottle...I was there yesterday and anchored to the southern end near what appeared to be a mooring float with a number on it. No rocks in this area, however...but very busy! I'll check it out again after Labor Day...
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