Any type of fishing that requires a boat ends up requiring a larger budget, but most of us will argue it’s worth it for the freedom and access to a variety of fishing. A large part of the boat’s budget is the engine or engines that push it, taking you to the action and just as importantly, bringing you back home. Many modern outboards benefit from 4-stroke technology, meaning they operate more like your car, having a crankcase full of oil that must be changed on a schedule to make them last.
No matter the horsepower or number of engines hanging on the transom, modern-day boat owners have a serious monetary commitment in outboards with a base price for one around 20K to 28K roughly. It goes up quickly from there, so needless to say, you need those engines to last. And yet, many people look at a jug of oil, the life-blood of an engine, and actually debate in their minds whether to save a few bucks and buy the cheap generic oil or go for something name-brand.
I understand, it’s a natural tendency, but once you weigh the logic, quality oil is money well spent when you add up all that is on the line!
Quality outboard oils are often OEM or name brand and of course, quality almost always costs more, but there is more involved in the products than just a name. Let’s take Suzuki’s ECSTAR V7000 Semi-Synthetic engine oil for example. This oil goes through rigorous and expensive testing to earn its FC-W Certification from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA). ECSTAR oil is built to withstand the high RPM, high-friction demands that are placed on outboard engines. Suzuki describes ECSTAR V7000 Semi-Synthetic 10W40 Marine Engine Oil as a proprietary blend of premium mineral oils and synthetic lubricants, with an additive profile designed to stand up to harsh conditions on-the-water. – Advanced detergents keep internal engine parts clean – Higher quality base oils improve fuel economy and help engines start easily in cold weather – Special additives to help protect engines in both salt and freshwater environments.
The same principles apply to your outboard’s lower unit gear oil. Using a quality product like ECSTAR SAE 80W-90 Ecstar Hypoid Gear Oil. Ecstar Hypoid Gear Oil is formulated to provide superior lubrication and protection for gear cases and final drives. Ecstar Hypoid gear oil is engineered to the highest of Suzuki Genuine quality standards and while oil and gear lube are not engine specific, each manufacturer has an additive package added to the oil formula to optimize their engine’s performance and longevity.
An outboard is always pushing uphill and rarely does it coast, so don’t ever put regular automotive oil in your engine.
It is also just as important to follow the oil change intervals recommended by the engine manufacturer and don’t forget the filter. Even if you don’t use your boat enough in a year to hit the number of hours for a change, I would say change it at least once a year in that case, or after pulling it out of storage before the upcoming season. Again, even quality oil is one of the cheapest parts of boating and you want to make your boat’s power package last as long as you can.
Especially when you count on it to bring you home rain or shine.