Monday, March 23, 2009

Our 20 hp Honda four-stroke outboards

20 hp four-stroke Honda
All of our fishing boats are powered by 20 hp Honda four-stroke outboards and virtually everyone agrees these are perfect fishing motors.

They are so quiet you can barely tell they are running at idle.

They do not produce any smoke.

They troll very slowly yet zip our 16-foot Lund boats around at over 20 mph with two anglers and all their gear in the boat.

And they start very easily although there is a definite procedure to learn to start the recoil-start models.

The first thing to know is that you do not need to advance the throttle to start these engines. You always start them at the lowest setting on the throttle.

1. Make sure the engine gear shift is in neutral. (You cannot pull the starting rope if it is in forward or reverse.)

2. When the engine is cold rotate the throttle handle four times to prime the carburetor. These engines have an accelerator pump on their carburetors, just like cars used to have. Instead of pumping the gas pedal, here you rotate the throttle handle.

3. Pull out the choke and with the throttle handle on the lowest setting, pull the cord.

The engine will always start on a single pull.

4. Leave the choke out until the engine has totally warmed up. This will take up to five minutes in cold weather, a couple of minutes in summer. The engine will not die with the choke pulled out.

5. Once the engine is warmed up, push in the choke and the engine will automatically slow down its idle. You are now ready to leave the dock.

You probably will never need to choke the engine again for the rest of the day.

If it doesn't ever start on one pull, rotate the throttle handle a couple of times to prime the carb, leave the throttle at its lowest setting and pull the starting cord.

We also have some electric start models which we usually reserve first for people with bad backs or who otherwise might have difficulty pulling a starting cord.

With these all you do is make sure the engine is in neutral, turn the throttle to the lowest setting and push the start button on the tiller handle. The engine automatically chokes itself, turns up the idle speed until warm and then drops the idle speed.

Just wait for the engine idle speed to slow down before leaving the dock as this is the signal the engine is warmed up.

The recoil-start models all have built-in alternators that will charge any type of 12-volt battery.

Many of our fishermen use this feature to charge gel-cell batteries that power their fish finders.

Ask us for the wiring harness if you would like to use the motor to charge your battery.

The alternator will also charge an electric trolling motor battery.

We have a couple of electric trolling motors for rent for $50 per week. If you would like to reserve one during your stay, drop us an e-mail at

An indicator on the trolling motor's handle tells you the charging state of the motor's battery. You must always recharge your battery with the 20 hp Honda, so keep an eye on the battery condition and refrain from using the trolling motor until there is a good charge in the battery.

The Honda will recharge the battery in just a couple of hours under normal fishing conditions.

By using this system you never need an external charger yet the trolling motor is available almost all the time.

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