An outboard repair manual is a book which lays out the procedures for maintaining, troubleshooting, and fixing an outboard motor.
What is it?
At its most simple, this kind of manual will provide simple illustrations and procedures for common maintenance. These are typically what one can expect from the ones included with a motor upon its purchase. However it is the repair and service manuals intended for mechanics that are the most valuable as a reference for repairs. Because of the way they’re designed, you will find no shortage of information inside them.
They will outline the entire makeup of the engine, with exploded views of the various subsystems. Procedures for every bit of maintenance and repair that you will ever need. Those who manage to take the plunge of familiarizing themselves with these more intricate books, can save themselves many headaches down the road. Because if a breakdown occurs the knowledge to be gleaned from these more complete manuals is going to save you a lot of second guessing.
How It Will Help You
The first and greatest benefit is the money that you will save. By being your own repairman and mechanic you will pay much less overall. First, maintenance becomes much more affordable. 90% of maintenance costs is the expertise of the mechanic. Second, major repairs are not going to break the bank. New parts aren’t cheap, but you will have enough discernment to not waste your money on parts that are unnecessary. Third, repairs will be less frequent as you are more likely to properly maintain your motor. And last, but far from least, you will be much more self-sufficient. Even if you suffer a catastrophic failure of your engine, you stand a very good chance at getting it running again.
These are some of the many reasons that boat owners always keep a repair manual on hand. In addition, by continually familiarizing yourself with your motor you will become much more confident in operating it.
Picking A Manual
When you are looking for a manual you may find that it is difficult to find what you are looking for. Especially with less popular models that are out of print. In some of these cases your best bet is to make a post on boating forums. Often those with more experience will know exactly where to look for one.
Hopefully once you find what you’re looking for, you will have some options. A good outboard repair manual will be easy to understand, comprehensive, and accurate. If has been written by the manufacturer the last two are rarely an issue. As it is in their best interest to be as detailed as possible. There are however many differences in the readability of various manuals. Sometimes the small font and odd diagrams can be difficult to understand. So take your time and be sure to get the manual that is best for you.
Once you have purchased a manual that you are comfortable with here’s how you maximize its usefulness. Skim it once front to back. Take notes on everything you will need to reference often. Make a list of the tools that are needed for these common tasks and keep these tools in a box where it is always easily accessible. It is also a good idea (depending on how well the manual is organized) to use sticky notes to mark the pages you will return too often.
Hopefully you have a better understanding of the value an outboard repair manual has. With a little luck and hard work your motor should last you many years of good boating.