Antique outboard motors. I admit it. I have a fondness for anything antique. Old outboard motors are found just about everywhere. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the expensive new outboards being offered, then these tips might help you.
Antique outboard motors
Today’s outboard motors are remarkable in many ways, but the prices drive a lot of folks away when they are on a budget for their fishing gear. Older outboards can offer many years of service and dependability and are easily serviced and worked on by the average boat owner. The first place to stop is at the A.O.M.C.I. website. This association of antique outboard owners not only have a vast wealth of knowledge but are willing to share freely and help you get that older motor running. They have a great public forum and you can ask questions and get expert answers and opinions.
When you have located a good prospect to purchase, here are some tips to help you decide. First beforehand do your homework and get a general idea of the size and brand of motor that you want. For example the 1959 Evinrude’s have a stellar reputation for being reliable and easy to work on, while the older Mercury’s sometimes need specialized tools. The Mercury’s are faster generally and are a little more rare. There are tradeoffs for every model so you need to get an idea of what you want ahead of time.
When it is time to see the motor and purchase be sure to bring along a hand held compression checker. If the motor is two cylinders or more, it definitely helps if all of the cylinders are fairly close in compression. Rats nest sometimes magically appear in wiring under the cowling. Look for severe corrosion around the lower unit and take it for granted that a new water pump impeller is necessary.
After you buy the motor of your choice, take some time to do some research on the Internet to look up model numbers, parts availability, etc. Many websites have service manuals and parts diagrams online so the information is usually out there but you have to take the time to research and find it. Be sure to register the motor with the regulating authority in your state if necessary.
After you have changed the water pump impeller and have cleaned the carburetor etc. you can run the motor in a barrel full of water and then mount it own your boat and start using and enjoying it.
Don’t let a 50 year old antique outboard motor scare you away, as many times these little jewels are better runners and better made than today’s modern motors. Do your homework, start scouting around for a deal, and then have fun with motors that our Father’s and Grandfather’s designed and built to last!