If you own a powerboat with an outdrive, the single most effective way to stay boating and out of the mechanic’s shop is annual outdrive service. Due to the underwater nature of the drive, this service must be performed out of the water.
When is the best time to do this?
While your boat is in storage so that you do not miss any time on the water. If you’re in Chicago or other northern areas, you know that the boating season is short and precious. Don’t waste the summer on repairs!
We can’t begin to tell you how many weekend plans, fireworks display, and other on the water events were missed or gone bad due to outdrive failure. Outdrive failure can even lead to catastrophic failure to the vessel.
What happens if I don’t get this checked annually?
If an unmaintained bellows fails by cracking, it may cause water to leak into the boat. Last summer, a boat came to the dock and needed an emergency pump to be set up. There was a crack in a bellows and water was coming in faster than the onboard bilge pump could handle. This could have been catastrophic.
This isn’t always the case. At times a simple fitting may go bad or a loss of pressure due to a poor seal occurs and the drive stops performing and “burn up”. Think of an engine running out of oil. This is the same except it’s the oil for your outdrive.
When this happens, you could be left replacing the entire drive. If you have annual drive service, it’s likely our Certified Technicians would catch a pre-existing condition and replace the necessary parts. Is it worth possibly ruining a drive or spending hundreds if not thousands of extra dollars on an emergency? Or would you rather spend the money up front on maintenance?
If you own a new boat, drive service is required to maintain the warranty on the drive. Think about this. If drive service is required to maintain a warranty, doesn’t it make sense to keep up this critical maintenance throughout the life of the boat?
When we perform drive service, we conduct the following when removing the drive from the boat:
- Inspect gimbal and ring bearings
- Inspect the bellows
- Inspect and lubricate the U-joints
- Check the alignment
- Inspect & lubricate all zerk fittings
- Refill with gear oil
- Pressure test
- Inspect the coupler that connects the drive to the engine, and re-install drive
This is cheaper than holding off and waiting until something happens. This is the insurance that will, most importantly, keep you, your friends and family safely boating.
Spring is right around the corner and we are currently scheduling 2 or more weeks out for maintenance work. If you wait until we get closer to launch season to schedule your service, you may end up delaying your launch.
If you have any questions and want to schedule drive service for your vessel, please contact the service department today.
We’re here to help keep you on the water, longer. That’s where you belong.