Sept 12, 2019

MotorDuring the heart of the summer (and into the fall), I get a lot of requests for boat parts. I’ve noticed an interesting trend with parts calls:

“Hi there, I have a 1970’s era Johnson outboard and I need an impeller. Do you have one?”

I’ve learned that boat owners may not know what a mechanic needs to know in order to look up parts. I hope that this issue will put the tools in your hands to speak the same language with your mechanic, while also enabling you to research your needs and price-shop effectively.

The first piece to understand is that engines evolve over time. Manufacturers produce and sell an engine that they feel will perform well. Feedback comes back from dealers and owners that sparks refinement, efficiency, ease of use, cost, ease of repairs, etc. With this information, new models are produced, including (typically) small incremental changes. Each engine manufacturer is aware of what their competition is producing, and as models change and evolve, they are similar to, but also differentiated from rivals’ similar products.

This means that a spark plug, oil filter or impeller may not be the same year-to-year or model-to-model. The same engine manufacturer may use different components across multiple models in a single production year. The reverse is also true: a single oil filter may be found on models over a dozen years, even across multiple manufacturers.

for the boat owner or mechanic to find the engine component (whether its an impeller, spark plug, oil filter, or some other part), some specifics are required. When looking for an engine component, we need a few pieces of information as a starting point:

Engine Identification PlateAn engine identification plate - this one lists the manufacturer, model number and serial number

• Engine manufacturer (Mercury, Yanmar, Westerbeke, Volvo, Johnson, Evinrude, etc)

• The Serial number – this is the most accurate identifier of your engine. It is a specific number assigned only to your engine – each serial number is unique

Engine Serial PlateAn outboard engine’s serial plate, listing the manufacturer, model number, serial number, and production date
If a serial number isn’t available – the Model Number is used (This is the product run of your engine. There may be hundreds or thousands of serials numbers in a particular model range)

If a model number isn’t available – the year and engine size. In the case of an outboard engine, the engine size is the Horse Power (9.9, 20, 50, 75, 100, 115, etc). In an inboard engine, size is measured by volume (a 3.0L or 4.3L are common examples).

If this information is unknown, there are a few other identifiers that are helpful:

The number of cylinders, and the engine type (gasoline vs diesel, and 2-stroke vs 4-stroke)

Where do you find this information?

Hull Identification NumberA hull identification number (HIN), found on the starboard side of the transom. The first three letters are a code for the manufacturer, and the last two digits are the production year.

The boat can be identified by a Hull Identification Number (HIN) – which is similar to the VIN number on a car. This number is engraved on the starboard transom of most fiberglass power and sailboats. Smaller open-hulled boats will have a transom plate or load/capacity plate on the transom.

Engine serials numbers are found on an identifying plate on the engine itself. Plates typically list the size, model number, and the serial number

Outboard engines have an identifying plate on the mounting bracket, and will often have the Horsepower highly visible on the engine cowling

Engine Service ManualA page from an engine service manual, indicating the location of the serial number, for easy reference.

Once you have this information – what can you do with it? There are a number of great online resources. Two of my favourites are www.boats.net and www.marineengine.com. They provide detailed diagrams of engines from major manufacturers. Searchable databases, allow you to search by year, horsepower, model and/or serial number, depending on the information available. Diagrams are divided by system, with part names and numbers listed.

The parts listed are OEM parts (original engine manufacturer). Often, in order to buy OEM parts, you need to purchase through a dealer of that brand (ie an Evinrude brand part can only be purchased through an Evinrude dealer). This limits availability, and can be more costly than alternatives. Sierra and Mallory are two examples of large reputable companies that offer aftermarket parts that match very closely with OEM parts. Often, these branded parts can be more easily found, and can be less expensive that their OEM counterparts.

Load Capacity PlateA transom load capacity plate, in an open-hull boat. This lists the manufacturer, the id and Horsepower capacity
With the OEM part number in hand, search and price compare the Sierra or Mallory equivalent.

Today’s marinas, dealerships and marine repair techs are more customer focused than ever – they’ll do their best to help. Having the right information on-hand and knowing what information will help them the most will avoid wasted time and money locating the parts that you need.

Andrew McDonaldAndrew McDonald is the owner of Lakeside Marine Services – a boat repair/maintenance firm based in Toronto. Andrew has worked in the marine industry for 12 years and is a graduate of the Georgian College ‘Mechanical Techniques - Marine Engine Mechanic’ program.


Questions or comments for Andrew? Email him directly via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 05:00

If you walk the aisles at a boat show, visit a marine store, or stop in at a repair shop, you’ll likely be inundated with digital displays, vivid touch-screens, NMEA compatible devices, and...

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 04:27

whether you choose power or sail (or both) batteries are an important part of your boat’s electrical system.

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 04:38

Water has a funny way of making its way into a boat: through through-hulls, stuffing boxes, leaks, hatches, windows and portholes 

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 06:10

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 00:43

Question: Can I buy generic automotive parts or products for my boat, or should they specify ‘marine’?

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 04:51

With marina and yacht club parking lots full of boats, tarps laid, water tanks drained, and only a few brave souls to be seen – now is the time to take stock of the successes and shortcomings of the...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and ...
Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. ...
When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex ...
I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats ...
The weather wasn’t cooperating for our test of the new Fountaine Pajot Isla 40. Rain, storm clouds ...
Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to ...
Cruisers Yachts’ 34 GLS is the latest model in the Cruisers Yachts line that includes a dozen ...
On a beautiful summer morning in July, I hopped aboard a new-owner delivery from the Outer Harbour ...
When company founder Marcio Schaefer designed the Schaefer 303, he managed to really dial in the ...
There is an unmistakable look to the Azimut S6 Coupe that will stand out in almost any marina. The ...

Video Gallery

 

 

Viko S35

By Katherine Stone

I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats on champagne fall days when many boats are either being hauled for the winter, or are already under shrink-wrap.

Not only are there great winds – usually offshore, but welcome sunshine and open waters with few boats out enjoying the last days of September. Joining me for the test sail of the Viko S35 was the former publisher of Canadian Yachting, Greg Nicoll, and the Canadian Viko Yachts representative, Eric Beauregard, who had driven down from Montreal.

Read More

 

 

Four Winns H4

 

Four Winns H4By Andy Adams

The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and the new H4 is a great example of how the design and engineering resources of Beneteau can up the game even for a brand like Four Winns that has a long and distinguished history.

The Cadillac Michigan-built H4 is a brand-new design this year and we think it's especially handsome. The vertical stem bow is all new and innovative. It is a design feature that was chosen to give Four Winns and the H4 a sense of modern and contemporary look while the stern remains more traditional. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...
St Vincent and the Grenadines is open to tourists and Horizon Yacht Charters are looking forward to ...

West Side Story

by Jennifer M. Smith, drone photos by Alex Nikolajevich

It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul out was still over a month away. The question was: where to now? Friends in Meaford often suggested we sail in for a visit. We never had because we’d always moved north-south on the east side of Georgian Bay. This year we were up for something different. This was the perfect opportunity to cruise the west side of the bay.

We made the 10 a.m. bridge out of Little Current and motor-sailed east southeast in light northerlies. We’d often sailed past Snug Harbour, a nearly land-locked anchorage on the north side of Lansdowne Channel because the chart suggested we’d never make it in there with our six-foot draft. 

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...
A study on water levels projects an unprecedented drop of water levels on Lakes Michigan-Huron and ...
Ahoy me hearties. June is Sailpast month, so Keelly and her pal Tracey were themed out as (not ...
You’ve invested thousands and thousands of dollars into your boat so naturally, you want to find ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
What happened. Where did our summer go? Well, never mind that, it’s time to start thinking about ...
Cruising boaters visiting new destinations can face challenges when the marina's shorepower system ...
Worn plastic hatch covers can detract from a boat's appearance and its functionality, especially ...
The first builder of electric boats, founded in 1893, Elco now introduces new designs of its EP-6, ...
More than 3/4 of all recreational boats (power and sail) are under 26 feet and towable.
One of the top requests in the electrification of water transport is for a jet ski that can deliver ...
Many boat toilets have dimensions similar to a five-gallon bucket—and are nearly as uncomfortable. ...
Working alongside a US-based designer and boat building company, Burlington ON-based MarsKeel ...
It’s still vacation time and that means calories don’t count. The Boat Galley Cookbook: 800 ...
Words of exasperation wafting across a marina often signal a boat owner fighting with a jammed ...

News

  • Prev
Parks Canada advises that the Kirkfield Lift Lock will begin single-chamber lockages for through ...
The Four Winns TH36 Catamaran had its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September ...
After borrowing boats for a couple of years, longtime J105 fanatic and many-year organizer of the ...
Due to ongoing mechanical issues, the Kirkfield Lift Lock will remain closed for the foreseeable ...
BCI Marine is announcing that it will become Canada's distributor of OXE Marine's ...
US Team Zing’s increased boat speed and improved crew work were no match for the extraordinary crew ...
Vision Marine, founded in Montreal and currently based in Boisbriand QC, in partnership with ...
On Sunday, August 21, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) held its fourth annual ...
While there’s still some good weather left, let’s take a moment to celebrate this summer. Sunny, ...
Light air conditions prevented racing on Saturday, which meant there were three fleet races on ...

RS Electric BoatsSailGP, the international racing series featuring high speed F50 wingsailed catamarans, is partnering with RS Electric Boats – sister brand of sailboat manufacturer RS Sailing – to use the Pulse 63 electric RIB as chase, coach and support boats.

RS Electric Boats will supply SailGP with four Pulse 63s, which were designed to be electric boats from the outset. The unique aerodynamic hull form is designed to support the weight of the batteries while allowing rapid acceleration, functional speeds up to 23 knots and ample range.

 

 

Read More