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Author Topic:   Yamaha 200 meltdown - Reasons?
scotts152001 posted 09-19-2003 12:51 PM ET (US)   Profile for scotts152001   Send Email to scotts152001  
I just sold my 96 24' OR and within hours, both engines failed. The engines are 97 200 saltwater series II, with carbs. Both #1 cylinders failed. One has 0 compression and the other has 50#. The remaining cylinders all have 125#.

He had just removed and repaired some holes in the fuel tank that were apparently caused by electrolysis. When he did, he replaced the fuel filters that were full of crud. Ran the engines in the water for about 10 minutes at low rpm. One engine reved without cause. They found what they thought was a stuck butterfly valve and "un stuck" it. Took the boat up to full rpm's and both engines crapped out. These carbs were all recently (about 50 hours ago) rebuilt by Hampton Marine in NY because they were loaded up from sitting and having no stabilizer in the fuel.

I feel like crap and want to help out with the repairs. Can these cylinders be repaired or do they need a short block?
They have very low hours and ran great for me for the year that I owned the boat.

Thanks in advance for your input. Scott

Bigshot posted 09-19-2003 01:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Scott they can be repaired but a whole teardown is in order. He is probably looking at $4-5k to rebuild both engines. He could also have blown 2 headgaskets but I doubt it. For one to get 0 compression in a cyl,the piston has to have a hole in it or the cyl wall. It might not be your fault and he bought the boat knowing it has sat, etc. If he did not run the engines, etc then that is his fault....buyer beware, etc. If I bought a used boat and never requested a sea trial or had my mechanic(me) look it over and the engine blew the minute I started it, I would not have anyone to blame but myself, definately not you. Now if you claimed it was just rebuilt and zero hours etc and I found out it was never apart, etc, then I would be PO'd. I honor your honor in wanting to help but I do not think it is your responsibility. You have no idea what he did after he drove it off your property. He might have sucked a screw into the engine while working on it, etc.
scotts152001 posted 09-19-2003 03:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
Thanks for your input. He did do a sea trial for about an hour and the engines ran perfectly. He did not have the engines inspected, but I had an inspection done by a local Yamaha dealer less than 3 hours of operation before and he gave the engines a very clean bill of health in writing.

The boat had sat for a while before I bought it, but I have been using it without any problems.

I realize that anyone buying a used boat is taking a risk, but to have it fail so soon after he bought it makes it look like I pulled a fast one on him. I want to be able to look anyone in the eyes and know that I treated them well, and have them feel the same, especially those that I'm out on the water with.

I'll keep investigating to see if this type of repair could have been caused by something that he did. To have both #1 pistons go at the same time seems really odd. Thanks again for your input and comments. Scott

scotts152001 posted 09-19-2003 03:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
Just talked to my mechanic and he believes that he knows what happened. The new owner said he changed both fuel filters because he noticed that the old ones had a lot of crud in them. My mechanic thinks he didn't fill the fuel filters with gas before putting them back on and this caused both #1 pistons to starve and overheat. Since both #1 cylinders failed, he said that this supports his theory.
He said that he will need new blocks for both engines.

For those of you who know engines, does this theory make sense?

Thanks. Scott

p.s. I still plan to help him with the cost, but how much I help will depend on why I think these engines failed.

Florida15 posted 09-19-2003 04:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Florida15  Send Email to Florida15     
Scott, you sold him two good engines and HE tore them up.
That's nice of you to want to help but it's cetainly not
your responsibility. He just learned a very expensive lesson.
arnereil posted 09-19-2003 04:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
The gas carries the oil... no gas, no oil. Sounds like his mistake. Too bad, but that's the way life goes....
Sal DiMercurio posted 09-19-2003 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
You are absolutely a gentlman to stand behind the sale, & I commend you for it.
If he took it to court, you would pay for the total repair.
I don't agree with the mechanics theory at all.
The fuel pump pushs fuel to all the cylinders, no reason to leave out #1.
You say you took the engines up to max rpms just before it happened.
By any chance, were you in neutral when you did this?
If the engines were in neutral at the time of max rpms, you blew the pistons.
Outboards are "NOT" designed to be run over 2,000 rpms without a load on them such as being in gear.
Another reason for them to blow is a lean condition, meaning the engines were "NOT" getting enough fuel or oil to properly lube themselves.
Now if those carbs were adjusted by the tech who rebuilt them & they were adjusted to run to lean, then the tech who adjusted that #1 carb that feeds the #1 cylinder, he is the one who is resposible, not you or the new buyer.
Again, your doing the right thing by backing the repair of those engines because your going to pay either way if it gos to court.
You sold him the rig & the rig was "NOT" rigged right, thats why it blew.
If those cylinders weren't scored more then .040 theres no reason for new powerheads, as the most they can hone is .040
Bigshot posted 09-19-2003 10:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I do not agree Sal, the buyer did a 1 hour sea trial and purchased it afterwards. He may have done a number of things to blow them up but I doubt it was the sellers fault. If he took it to the ramo and it blew up outside the slow speed area 10 minutes later that is one thing. Being he reapired something "stuck" and replaced the filters and repaired the fuel tank, etc....I saw who knows what he did to them. Maybe they are both fine and he justs wants money?
John O posted 09-20-2003 12:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for John O    
Scott. I respect your concern for the buyer, however it is his problem now. You have have no legel responsibility to the buyer. He could have done many other things to the motors that he is not disclosing. Used is used. If you were a dealer you may have some interest such as repeat business other wise move on.
raygun posted 09-20-2003 01:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
If the buyer was just underway from your dock and the engines blew it'd be one thing, but he had this boat in his posession for how long? You had a Yamaha mechanic give those engines a clean bill of health! Has that guy looked at this debacle? You have no idea what the new owner did to these motors. It really sounds like he screwed the pooch badly, nothing to do with you. How can you know he didn't run the motors up to redline on muffs fooling around with engine tuner/decarbonizer?

"Ran the engines in the water for about 10 minutes at low rpm. One engine reved without cause. They found what they thought was a stuck butterfly valve and "un stuck" it. Took the boat up to full rpm's and both engines crapped out."

This sounds like an unlikely story, and I would really question it. Who were "they"? Where did this occur? A test tank? His driveway with muffs? Did one engine ever "rev without cause" when you owned the boat? "unstuck it"? Did "they" really have a clue as to what "they" were doing?

I don't buy the fuel starved theory as being your problem either. If that in fact did happen because he didn't prime the carbs and ran the motors up to redline cold (who knows where) then why should you pay?

This sounds like the new owner screwed up badly and is totally conning you.

arnereil posted 09-20-2003 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
If the filters were empty, the carbs still had gas in them. The motor would start and run and air would be pumped through the fuel line. The air bubble would rise to the top, probably causing the top carb to run out of gas as it filled with air, but the rest of the cylinders would have enough umph to keep the engine running. The number one cylinder running with no gas would get no oil, as the gas carries the oil. It would run dry till the air bubble worked its way out through the top carburator, I'm figuring..

A look at the way the gas is distributed might give a clue as to where the air bubble would travel, but since both number one cylinders crapped out, i'm betting the no. 1's are at the top.

If the engines were run dry, all carbs would be more or less empty and would fill approximately at the same rate, eliminating the severest problem....

Now, this is just my take on it and i'd like to hear if this makes sense....

Sal DiMercurio posted 09-20-2003 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
The odds of blowing 2 engines at the same time for the same reason is so far, it's not even comprehendable.
Even if you or I tried to blow those engines at the same time & have #1 cylinder go on both engines just isn't in the books.
Those engine are pretty bullet proof & the only reason I can figure #1 cylinder can blow is because of the carb adjustment on that cylinder was set to lean, but for them to go at the same time on the same piston is totally unheard of.
Niether you nor I could duplicate it.
We need to know if he was under way or on muffs when he went to max rpms.
If he was on muffs, then it's his ignorance & your not liable, but if he was under way i'd have those #1 carbs checked & go after the tech who set them.
Unless you have a written agreement that states "sold as is" , in Calif the seller is going to cough up the dough for the repairs, unless you can prove the engines have been altered "AFTER" the sale.
Your looking at over $8,000 in repairs if the power heads can be saved & closer to $10,000 if they must be replaced

raygun posted 09-20-2003 06:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
I think that "astronomical" is the term to describe the odds. Something is fishy here. I think Yamaha test engineers would have a hard time duplicating this scenario.
Don't these motors have three 2-bbl carbs? Why weren't the adjoining cylinders damaged at all??
Knot at Work posted 09-20-2003 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
California is F*@(#@ Up'd that is why you have a recall...

Sal your an idiot

Sal DiMercurio posted 09-20-2003 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Knot, don't forget to do your homework for 8th grade before you go to bed, & don't wet the bed.
if your trying to piss me off, forget it, i'm to mature to allow children to get under my skin.
Try the Disney site there games for you there..........................
Pretty sure theres 6 carbs each on those engines, 1 for each cylinder.
I don't know for sure if there is an adjustment on those carbs unless they have the wrong reeds in the 1# carbs.
arnereil posted 09-20-2003 09:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
For efficiency sakes, most motorcycles and boat engines have 1 carb/cylinder... for 2 strokes, it makes feeding the crankcase, pressuring same, and pushing the fuel/air mix into the cylinder much less complicated. If a 2 stroke did not have separate crankcase elements, getting the gas in and up might not even be possible. So, yes, 1 carb per cylinder.....
gss036 posted 09-20-2003 10:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for gss036  Send Email to gss036     
Probably 2 barrel carbs, with 1 barrel per cyl. I used to run a lot of 2stroke motorcycles and have blown several engines (holing pistons) because of "too lean" conditions, most often caused by junk in the carbs and they lean out and rev to extremely high rpms. I had a 125 Yamaha peg the tach at 12K because it sucked an air hole in a crank seal. If it is possible, yeah it could happen and I would think that the problem here is related to how the guy changed the filters and what he "did" or did not put in them. I would be willing to bet he put something more violately(sp?) than just gasoline. Just my 2cents, probably not worth much but, you know how it is some times. :-)
Bigshot posted 09-20-2003 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I believe the 150's are 3 2 barrel carbs which would mean #2 cyls should be scored as well if lean on the carbs......tooo fishy, call it a day.
Bigshot posted 09-20-2003 11:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Crap....200's, probably still 3 carbs. With OMC only the 225's has 4-6 throat carbs....don't ask why.
raygun posted 09-21-2003 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for raygun  Send Email to raygun     
right, so if the bowl is dry for the carb that feeds #1 it would be dry for the adjoining cylinder. I called the local yamaha dealer here and confirmed that this motor had 3 2bbl carbs.
Knot at Work posted 09-21-2003 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
What are the ODDs both engines crapped at the same time?

Operator error is what we call it in the Navy. NO WAY that both motors blew the cylinders in each motor. This is why I do not agree with you Sal.

As for your immediate lawyer references.. that is why I stand by my early statement

I don't think selling a boat included selling common sense.. somethings can't be bought...

Scotts your an honorable man, but you should move on.... dont worry about "court" I would never award the idiot damages after reading these posts....

Courts are for whiners!


Sal DiMercurio posted 09-21-2003 11:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Jeff, you say no way both engines blew, but both engines "DID" blow #1 cylinders.
Please explain just how operator error can blow the #1 cylinder on both engines at the same time.
There has to be a reason why those pistons went & the onlY reason I can think of is lean fuel.
Niether you, nor I, or anyone else on this board could duplicate what happened to those engines.
For "both" engines to "blow" the "same piston" at the "same time" is next to impossible.
My bet is, if they take the 1 carb [ 2 barrel ] that feeds the #1 & #2 cylinders, their going to find the wrong reeds on the side that feeds #1 cylinder.

brisboats posted 09-21-2003 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for brisboats  Send Email to brisboats     
File this under "possible but highly unlikely", my advice is have the motors looked over by a certified yamaha mechanic not connected to either you as seller or him buyer, offer to split the cost of the diagnosis and go from there. This is going to give you much more concrete evidence than all the armchair theories we can offer you here.

You are doing the standup thing but dig a bit deeper before you dig into your pocket. As for legal argument in your defense...The motors were used, sold without warranty, tested and accepted by the buyer, outside of your dominion and control at the time of failure.

This is a most unfortunate situation but two SWS 200's failing the same cylinder at the same time really seems highly unlikely. Best of luck to you and I hope you and the buyer can amicably work this out.


Knot at Work posted 09-21-2003 07:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Sal, My man...

I am not disputing that both motors both burnt the cylinders.. I am stating that the odd "Material failure" of that happening ar elike winning the power ball, two motors? different engines?

Lean fuel = OPERATOR ERROR... if the dufus didnt add OIL to the two stroke mixe well you get lean fuel you also get an IDIOT....

his over sight or whatever caused this is his fault.

Scotts ran his 96 for at least 7 years without a problem..

he owes nothing except a good kick in the ass the moron who f*(@*(@ ed up the motors on this fine Whaler....

Sal you are answering your own question that both engines blowing the same cylinder at the same time are impossible yet a new owner a noob that fried his engines due to his ignorance or stupidity... he should have bought a bayliner

BW23 posted 09-21-2003 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
Did the bill of sale imply any warranty terms ??

If the motor blew without his repairs or maintenance, I would feel you might be generous and offer him something.

His repairs influenced something in the fuel system causing the owe him nothing.

As is where is ???

BW23 posted 09-21-2003 09:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
Did the bill of sale imply any warranty terms ??

If the motor blew without his repairs or maintenance, I would feel you might be generous and offer him something.

His repairs influenced something in the fuel system causing the owe him nothing.

As is where is ???

scotts152001 posted 09-21-2003 11:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
Wow. I was gone for a couple of days and couldn't believe the number of comments. Thanks for taking time to give me your thoughts. The buyer said that he ran the engines up to full power while underway. He commented that he was headed out of the harbor when the engines went and was concerned because he was near large swells without power.

My mechanic, a yamaha certified mechanic, said that #1 piston is on top. Arnereil's theory is how my mechanic explained it to me. Piston's 2-6 had fuel, but #1 was run without fuel and therefore without lubrication. The 200's have 3 carbs, I assume 2 barrels each.

I like the idea of having a reputable independent Yamaha mechanic look at the engines to get a better understanding of what went wrong. I think I'll offer to split this cost so we both know what went wrong. I'm in Northern California and he is in Gold Beach Oregon. Can anyone recommend a good Yamaha dealer in the Southern Oregon area?

When the new owner called me about the engine failures, he seemed ready to move forward with the repairs without being too worried about what caused them to fail. My concern is that unless the cause of the failure is fully understood, he could have the same problem happen again.

Thanks again. Scott

Sal DiMercurio posted 09-22-2003 01:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Scott, I totally agree to have a tech find what blew those engines because they will blow again if you don't get to the soarce of the origin.
What part of N.Cal are you from?
I'm in Pittsburg, 30 miles East of San Francisco.
I'm not convinced it was operator error because it sounds like it would have happened no matter who ran the boat.
Let us know what the tech finds, bet is the wrong jets on that side of the carbs, but if the tech thats checking it is the one who rebuilt them, he's not going to say he put the wrong jets in.
You said 2&6 had fuel [ they are on the opposite side of #1 ]???? what about # 4 on the the opposite side of #1 & 3 & # 5 on the same side as # 1.
If the pumps pumped fuel to both of the #2 cylinders [ starboard side of engine ], same carb as #1 [ port side of the engines ] but on the opposite side....why did both #1s fail to get fuel & lube?
If he added a fuel conditioner or some other additive & for some reason clogged only the port side of the top carbs, why didn't it clog both sides or all the carbs.
This is really one for the books.
I can see one carb going south, but certainly "NOT" the 2 top carbs [ port side only ] on seperate engines at the same time.
I'm really interested to find what the hell happened & why.
scotts152001 posted 10-01-2003 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
Update - the engines were torn down and it appears that the rear bilge pump switch failed and the bilge filled up with saltwater. Saltwater apparently got into the oil tanks and made it's way into the engines. The oil reservoirs on the engines had water in them as well, which supports this diagnosis.

During the sea trial, we noticed that the bilge area had water in it and it was fairly high, but it did not appear to be over the top of the oil tanks. In retrospect we should have checked the oil tanks to make sure no water had gotten into the tanks.

It looks like we need new powerheads. Any recommendations as to where to get these at the lowest possible price?

Thanks. Scott

lhg posted 10-01-2003 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
One of the biggest remanufacturers of outboard blocks & lower units is PMC North America, I think complete V-6 powerheads are about $3000, less core trade in, retail.
trask posted 10-02-2003 10:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for trask    
This would NEVER stand up in court, and I'd bet the farm it will never go there. Like someone said earlier, if you're not a dealer, move on.
trask posted 10-02-2003 10:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for trask    
Personally, I would never accept having the oil tanks and batteries in the transom of my boat. I notice most builders rig them this way (including Whaler) and it's a mistake. Also, the inspection/rigging hatch builders love to put in the engine wells is insane...they LEAK, as well as the practice of installing the rigging hole in the well where water penetrates easily. I'd much rather sacrifice some storage space in the console of my center console Whaler by installing the batteries and oil tanks in this location. I don't care about a crapper in my console, and they're usually squeezed in there too tight anyway. I'd much rather have the space for other things.
scotts152001 posted 10-02-2003 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     
Now that I've been through this, I agree that having the oil tanks in the transom is dangerous. The fish boxes drain to this area and constantly fill with salt water. One other option is to have a high water alarm in case the bilge pump failed like mine did. Based on what happened here, I would highly recommend relocating the oil tanks or installing a high water alarm.
Knot at Work posted 10-02-2003 10:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for Knot at Work  Send Email to Knot at Work     
Or just get a 4 stroke!
trask posted 10-02-2003 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for trask    
But even with a four stroke the weight is still there hanging over the transom. At a boat dealership I used to work for, when we had a clean center console hull to rig/work with, we always found a way to relocate the batts. and oil tanks to the console. Less is more in the transom of a boat. KISS
jimh posted 10-02-2003 08:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I am pleased that we followed through to the end of this story. I am sure everyone was curious about the cause of the simultaneous failure of the engines. Thanks for providing that information.

As to the final financial outcome and who bears the cost, I am sure everyone is curious but I don't think further information on that aspect is necessarily obliged to be posted. The sale was a private sale and can remain so as far as I can see.

I have to observe that in a classic Boston Whaler boat you don't have these problems:

--there is no interior bilge space to accumulate water without being noticed--well at least not a space where you put your oil tanks and battery. (You can douse your rigging tunnel and maybe your fuel tank; the boats are not perfect.)

--you can't hide the battery and oil tanks below the waterline--they are in view and above the waterline in the boat or in the upper level of the transom splash well;

--the splash well does not have a poorly sealed hatch to admit water to other compartments;

--the rigging cables do not penetrate the hull form except by following the path through the rigging tunnel (which is sealed from the interior of the hull by laminate and gel coat).

newt posted 10-02-2003 10:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
One thing I really like about my Mercury engine is the integral oil tank. The capacity is not as great as the remote tanks used with other brands, but is more than enough to supply oil for the 24 gallons of gas I carry.

After reading this thread, I appreciate the integral tank even more. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Royce posted 10-02-2003 10:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royce  Send Email to Royce     
jimh- on my 1985 25 outrage, my two oil tanks are located in a bilge locker just forward of the motor well. They are mounted on two pieces of aluminum angle which keeps them above the bottom of the bilge. The bilge could fill with water, but the oil tanks are air tight(they have to hold a vacumn to work). This thread will make me even more vigilant about checking this area. When I renovated the boat I made sure to seal around the cross over pipe that equalizes the water on each of the side bilge areas. If this pipe is not sealed, water will leak into the center bilge area.There is a scupper around the center bilge area to direct the water to the starbord bilge pump. Even when I wash the boat, very little water ends up in the center bilge.
scotts152001 posted 10-02-2003 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for scotts152001  Send Email to scotts152001     

The buyer and I reached an agreement today to settle the matter when I offered to pay $3,000 towards the cost of repairs. He bought the boat below my asking price and with my contribution towards the repairs, he will have a very nice boat with fresh motors, at a cost at or below market for the package. The company that tore the motors down verified that the engines had very low hours, so the other components are in very good shape. While no one was happy with the engine failures, I think we are both satisfied with how things worked out. Thanks for everyone's input on this subject. Like the saying goes, "there is no such thing as a problem without a gift in it's hands." I suspect a few people will check out their boats and oil tanks to make sure this doesn't happen to them. Scott

Sal DiMercurio posted 10-03-2003 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Scott, your an honorable man & I admire you for being fair on that deal.
I sold my 1992 150 hp Johnson 3 years ago [ $3,500 ], & told the buyer there is absolutly nothing wrong with that engine & I would have stood behind it for 3 months if it had broken, [ I knew the guy & he treats his engines like I do ]] .
The guy called me a few months ago, said she runs like new & I sold it to him 3 years ago.
A man is only as good as his word & if you try to screw someone in a deal that you say is perfect but isn't, it will come around & bite you on the ass.
Be fair & honest & you will be treated fair & many people will respect you far more then if your not.

Clark Roberts posted 10-03-2003 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Is there a problem with the disign of the oil tanks? One would expect them to be air/water tight when correctly sealed!? Aren't the Yamaha tanks under press from engine to supply oil to engine's ready tank? I wouldn't mount an oil tank that was prone to leak below deck level...never in bilge! What? Clark.. SCN
diamondjj posted 10-03-2003 09:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for diamondjj    
Mine isn't. My oil tank is in the console and is vented (cap).
Oil is pumped from that tank to the ready tank at the engine but to the best of my knowledge, the tank in the console does not pressurize.
Bigshot posted 10-03-2003 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Clark I think Yamagucci has vent caps unlike OMC. My tank could submerge and no water would get in it.
arnereil posted 10-03-2003 10:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for arnereil  Send Email to arnereil     
Not being an expert, but a tank with no vent will not feed anything... it will collapse from vacuum. It either needs a return line to vent it, or some sort of top vent....
lhg posted 10-03-2003 02:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Clark brings up a good point. To the best of my knowledge, Mercury's oil tanks are totally water tight also. Mine reside in the splashwell of my 25, and after 14 years, no problems. I rinse this area down regularly, including the top of the oil tanks. It sounds like the Yamaha design is not so hot, as this is a problem that NEVER should have happened. My Mercury manual says the tanks MUST be air tight for the oil to flow. No venting at all. Yamaha owners should watch out for this situation, however.

I fail to see what the owner did wrong that left him liable.
Sounds like someone installed the Yamaha tanks where they don't belong, and they would be at fault. I'd go after the boat dealer instead, and he'd lose on this one, probably for not following Yamaha's installation procedures.

lhg posted 10-03-2003 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I should add that the Mercury oil system has a double hose system. One line is the return vent, so the tank is totally waterproof.
Clark Roberts posted 10-03-2003 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
I just talked to a Yamaha mechanic an he says that the Yamaha tanks are vented via the fill cap and oil is pumped by an internal electric pump. He says that a Yamaha tank should never be mounted in the bilge of a boat (only a bilge pump should be mounted there) and that the tank should be protected also from wash down and rain. I'm not a lawyer (but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express once) but I would venture the proposition that whoever installed those tanks in the bilge is liable for the damages! If it was a dealer he should be made to cough up on this one. But only my opinion, mind you.... anyone with a Yamaha tank mounted in bilge, splash well or any other "wet" location might want to relocate! Beam me up... Clark... Spruce Creek Navy
jimh posted 10-03-2003 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The accurate observation by Royce of the rear cockpit deep live well compartment of many Outrage 22 or 25 models corrects my earlier statement that classic Boston Whaler boats don't have hidden compartments where water can collect unnoticed.
Royce posted 10-05-2003 02:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royce  Send Email to Royce     
I am posting to correct my own mistake. I have two Mercury 3 gal. oil tanks that function properly under pressure(not a vacumn as I prviously posted).They are located in the center fishwell-bilge locker. When I first sea trialed the boat I found that one of them had a crack and it "pushed" oil out into the bilge. This is a two line system and has to be air and water tight to opperate. Theoretically you could submerge these tanks and the motors would not draw any water. I won't be trying this theory any time soon.

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