I was recently preparing to practice for a smallmouth tournament and was going over a few things boat wise before leaving for the ramp in the morning.
I was planning on fishing solo for the morning and had intentions of heading 20 miles from the ramp, so I was double checking my double checks in effort to prevent any surprises on the lake.
I filled the oil reservoir, and that’s when I saw it, I saw a small amount of oil along the transom. This was obviously being a cause for concern which prompted additional investigation. I pulled the cowl off the engine and my heart sunk. There was a pool of oil inside the cowling, which was obviously bad news. I inspected the oil and it appeared to be clean 2 stroke motor oil, however I am nowhere near a mechanic, so a call was made to my local marine dealer.
After a brief conversation on the phone, I was told to bring the boat in and they would do whatever they could to accommodate me.
In the end, it turned out that the oil pump had failed. That was the bad news, the good news was that I caught it right away and likely saved my engine from blowing up. My dealer was able to install a new oil pump and I was back in business in around 24 hours.
I also wouldn’t consider my engine to be old being a 2013 with a bit over 200 hours on it. I’m sure people who know me will attest that I’m about as meticulous as they come when it comes to maintenance, but mechanical things just simply break sometimes, and it cannot be prevented. Early detection can save a few dollars if you’re lucky.
I have a routine that I undergo every time I leave the yard, which consists of checking the batteries to ensure they’re fully charged, checking the battery terminals for corrosion or loose connections, checking the trailer lights, putting the plug in, ensuring the oil is topped up and lastly that the key is in its place. I also do a general walk around and have a look to make sure nothing is left lying around to blow out and nothing appears out of the ordinary.
Nobody knows your boat like you do and I’ve also caught minor issues before they became big ones just based on the sound of the engine. Trust your gut and double check your double checks, your bank account will likely thank you!!!