View Full Version : Trouble Starting Up

07-06-2014, 09:45 AM
So, we had a major problem trying to get the boat started on Friday. I tried to start it two or three times, and the engine just wouldn't turn over. After that, it wouldn't do anything. When I turned the ignition, everything was completely silent. There was no indication that anything was going to happen. I read some things on here, as well as around the rest of the internet. Some things I did were: make sure the bilge was completely empty, opened the engine compartment up, and ran the blower. I looked in the manual about flooding the engine, and it said to disengage the transmission and move to full throttle. I did that and it started right up. It happened again twice yesterday, and going up to full throttle with the transmission disengaged did not work. We did eventually get it started, after doing the list of things mentioned above, and just giving it some time between attempts. We have never had an issue starting the engine, while putting the boat in the water or immediately after it has been turned off. This only occurs when we are in the water, and have been sitting for maybe 15 minutes or more. Before Friday, it would seem like it was maybe struggling to start in these instances, but we've moved into a new realm of this being a problem. Unless anyone can think of an explanation, we are going to have to haul it in to the service department. Our Nav lights recently went out, as well, so not sure if this could maybe be an electrical issue...

07-06-2014, 01:34 PM
What year & model? Depending on the age, I'm going to guess vapor lock.

07-06-2014, 01:59 PM
If that is the case, what is the easiest way to prevent it? We had been putting 87 octane gasoline in the boat, but I recently read that we should use at least 89. We just started doing that. All of that gas has 10% ethanol, of course. Should we start using Sta-Bil? Would that help?

07-06-2014, 02:37 PM
Again, what year and model? Both your signature & profile are blank.

07-06-2014, 03:08 PM
2003 Outback LSV

07-06-2014, 03:21 PM
carbed engine I presume Dr Watson?

07-06-2014, 03:44 PM
Throttle-body Fuel Injection

07-06-2014, 04:37 PM

Cool. probably is just the vapor lock issue.

My 2003 had a carb

07-06-2014, 05:39 PM
Do a search for Vapor Lock here, a lot of info on ways to get around it and things to look for

07-06-2014, 06:10 PM
Do a search for Vapor Lock here, a lot of info on ways to get around it and things to look for

Summation, after reading hundreds of these posts.
It's a design issue apparently never to be addressed.
Fix. The dealer will add an extra fuel pump, that may or may not fix it, for $500.
The good news is it only effects boats used in warm weather, so those of you winter water enthusiast will have no problem!

Ways to live with it!
1. Run the blower when you stop. Or lift the cover.
2. Pour a cup of cold water from the cooler over the fuel pump, and you should be on your way!

07-06-2014, 07:31 PM
vapor lock prevent kit :

07-06-2014, 08:07 PM
I hate to spend the $$$ to put in a vapor lock prevent kit, if there are other ways around it. Why don't I hear anything from the starter, when it has vapor lock? It seems like, from previous threads, that some attribute vapor lock to ethanol in gasoline. We've been putting 87 octane with 10% ethanol in it all Spring and Summer. Since we ran into this problem, we put 89 octane with 10% ethanol in it, but still had the problem. I wonder if we should either use 93 octane with 10% ethanol or 89 octane with 10% ethanol, plus Sta-Bil. Think that has any impact at all? I started running 93 octane in all of our lawn equipment because I've heard the ethanol really does a number on the carburetor if it sits around for a while.

07-07-2014, 08:40 AM
We had vapor lock issues earlier this season and after looking at the fuel pump I realized an oil line and exhaust line were both touching the fuel pump. I used a few zip ties to move the lines away from the pump. They are no longer touching. I run the blower non-stop and since getting about an inch of space on the lines mentioned above I have no more issues with vapor lock. Even after yesterday and it was close to 95. Also, not sure where you are located, but I have only used 91 or higher octane gas. I have only boated at higher altitudes. Depending on how much you have been out this year you may still have some bad gas left over in the tank. Sea Foam works wonders. How old is the fuel filter?

07-07-2014, 09:25 AM
We actually just had the fuel filter changed before the season. I wish I had time to fool around with this, but we are just going to bite the bullet and take it in. We have an upcoming vacation, so it is an opportune time. I let everyone know what they find. We have a list of other things that we have ran into. I bought some Sta-Bil Marine Ethanol Treatment at the auto parts store yesterday, so going to start using that for sure. If service technician finds nothing, and problem continues, I'll return to the board to get more input.