As you gear up for another fishing season, you want to start off right. By taking a few simple steps before you leave the dock, you can ensure a seamless experience. Don’t let preventable issues slow you down. Follow these steps for a hitch-free start to your season.

Oil dipstickPull the dipstick and check the oil level before starting up.

Low oil level can cause damage to the engine: If the oil level is low, it means there is not enough lubrication for the engine components. This can lead to increased friction and heat, which can cause wear and tear on the engine parts. If the engine is started with low oil, it can result in serious damage, such as bent connecting rods, bent push rods, and even broken cranks. ​

High oil levels may indicate water contamination: Over time, water can enter the engine from sources such as exhaust, leaking liner o-rings, or gaskets. If the engine is started with water sitting on top of the cylinders, it can lead to hydro-locking, where the engine gets filled with water instead of air and fuel. ​This can cause severe damage to engine components.

2. Fuel lines & filters

Check the following: ​

  • Verify that the fuel feed and return line valves are open. ​​
  • Check the fuel settlement bowls for any water accumulation. ​
  • Change the fuel filters if they were not replaced at the end of last season. ​

3. Coolant chemistry

Coolant provides anti-freeze protection, acts as a lubricant for the water pump, and protects against corrosion. It is recommended that the pH levels and coolant additive chemistry be tested.

  • ​Coolant should be replaced every 5-6 years, as the sacrificial additives that protect the engine’s metal surfaces deplete over time. ​
  • Contamination should be inspected, and coolant additives should be added as needed. ​

4. Dry the windings


  • Obtain an inexpensive electric heater with a fan. ​
  • Locate the generator air intake. ​
  • Position the electric heater so the fan blows into the generator air intake and let it run for 12-24 hours. ​

This will ensure that the generator’s windings are completely moisture-free before starting up the generator. ​

Some generators already have winding heaters installed. ​In this case, it is important to ensure that these heaters are operational for at least 24 hours before starting up the generator. ​

5. Check connections

  • Electrical lugs, terminals, and wiring insulation should be inspected for any issues. ​wire connections
  • Corrosion, deterioration, and loose connections can lead to generator failure.
  • Tighten lug terminals, replace corroded connectors, and add chaffing material to prevent erosion of the wiring insulation. ​
  • Checking for cracks and breaks in the wiring insulation is also recommended.

Frustrated stick manDon’t get stuck at the dock!

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