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Dinghy engine oil change

Dinghy engine oil change

Arriving in the Isles of Scilly we found ourselves with some extra time, and also the desire to explore some nearby islands.

We had a long list of jobs still to do back on 2022 splash day, one of which was the dinghy engine oil change.

So before exploring anywhere, it was time to tick off another job. Dinghy engine oil change.

Speifically, Hannah’s dinghy is a Zodiac with a 3.3 HP 2-stroke Mariner outboard engine.

How to replace the gear oil

I imagine outboards are normally serviced on land. But we had no easy option to do that.

All of the guides that we found also said that you are meant to use a special gear oil pump of sorts, but we didn’t have one of those to hand.

You can get an overview of what this process is meant to look like in this video.

Mounting the engine

We didn’t really want to replace the oil in the engines normal positions, hanging over the side of the boat, or ashore, in case of spills.

So we rigged the engine in the cockpit with numerous ropes to suspend it in mid air with the floor covered in plastic beneath.

We used one rope heading out from each side of the engine at least to keep it stable.

Conveniently we were in a very flat anchorage.

Replacing the oil

As was mentioned in the video, there are 2 screws that you need to locate.

Here are the screws on our Mariner 3.3 HP.

Undoing the bottom screw allows a little oil to start trickeling out into a container we had prepared. The top one released the flood gates and we waited a few minuites for the flow to slow.

We found a random site online that said that the gear oil capacity for an engine like this was around 140ml, so this is what we were aiming for.

To get the new oil into the outboard we used a syringe whoose nozzle happened to just fit inside the hole opened up by the screw. Pouring oil from our new container into a small bowl, then sucking it up with the syringe and shooting it into the hole, covering the hole with our fingers between synringes (as we needed multiple to reach 140ml).

You can see the syringe we used and difference in our oil colour below. Grey / blue being the oil coming out, and yellow being the oil going in.

We won’t talk about the time we accidently fired oil across the cockpit using the syringe, thats better left in the past.

Doing the screws up, and cleaning the engine off, we were all set for our next dinghy trip!