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March 2011

Impeller inspection

Know when to replace the impeller

To keep your marine outboard engine running smoothly, regularly inspect the impeller so you’ll know when it’s time for a replacement.

Check your engine manual to find out where the impeller is and how to remove it. Drain water from the pump, and pull out the impeller.

Test the impeller’s flexibility by pulling the rubber blades in the opposite direction the impeller normally spins. Each blade should return to its normal position. If the blades don’t go back into position, a blade cracks, or cracks are already present, replace the impeller.

If the impeller is still in good condition, it can be put back into the pump. To even out wear, reinstall the impeller in the reverse direction.

If an impeller won’t be used for more than 6 months, store it in the box. When a pump has been left to dry, an impeller’s blades can stick to the housing and rip off when the engine starts.

Lastly, keep a spare impeller handy for emergencies.

Find elegant drinkware and more at the USPS Ship's Store.

Mastering Marlinespike

Monkey’s fist

When you need to heave a line more than 50 feet, a monkey’s fist will help. To tie this knot, start with 6 feet of 3/8-inch nylon rope.

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