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Keeping the Heart of Your Boat, Healthy

Every boat owner should know that the outboard motor, built for speed, power and endurance, still faces the harshest conditions as a piece of outdoor machinery driving boats of all weights and sizes through large bodies of water. So, it should make sense that to maintain the motor’s longevity and quality of performance, it should be regularly maintained. Knowing how the motor works is a great start when considering maintenance needs.

Components of the Outboard Motor Ignition

In order for a motor to run you need to have three things: compression, fuel and spark. Compression is how forceful a motor jets out air and fuel to get the pistons and cylinders in the motor moving at speeds fast enough to spin the propeller and move the boat. The fuel is the element that ignites and becomes the heat and energy behind the force of that pressure. And the spark is what ignites the fuel to create the heat and energy. Those are the basics when it comes to the way motors run. But to understand your boat’s outboard motor, let’s go a level deeper to what makes up the ignition.


The flywheel is a heavy wheel that spins with momentum and magnets which rotate that is the start of the process of creating electric power.


The stator is the stationary part around which the magnets on the flywheel rotate to produce the electricity.

Stator with trigger.

While the stator produces the electric power, the trigger sends the charges to charge coils in the power pack. And it’s the power pack that controls signals to the spark plugs that are timed to fire the right cylinders. Ignition coils transform the electric power to thousands of volts to create the electric spark in the spark plugs which is needed to ignite the fuel.

All of the parts work together to ensure proper function of the outboard motor ignition. And these are areas that need to be inspected and maintained should trouble arise or to avoid problems altogether.

Outboard Motor Maintenance Checklist:

  • Check and replace spark plugs if needed.

  • Check and replace fuel lines if they’re leaking.

  • Fill up with fresh fuel before boating to keep internal parts safe.

  • Check and replace the impeller pump regularly.

  • Clean out your engine after use with a full flush of water.

  • Check your engine for water and fuel leaks.

  • Wipe down moving parts with lubricant.

For more information on boat motor maintenance, be sure to contact one of our expert mechanics.

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