Starting Motor Out Of Water

By Matt Claiborne

So your boat is on the trailer or in the yard, and you need to run it. Here’s how to run a boat motor out of the water.

Outboard motors pick up their outside water using inlet screens just above the lower unit’s propeller. 

The water pump and impeller are inside the lower unit, just above those inlets.

The best way to start your motor out of the water is to attach a flushing kit over those inlets.

A flushing kit, sometimes called ear muffs or motor flusher muffs, attaches to a garden hose and fits snugly over the inlets.

Turn the hose on full blast. Water will spray in every direction, but it’s okay. Now you can start the engine because there’s plenty of fresh water for the impeller to work fine.

Run the engine as long as you need, but don’t go much above idle. You will see water coming out of the tell-tale, but it might not be as forceful as it is when in the water.