Yamaha Motors and The Gulf Oil Spill

Yesterday Yamaha Motors came out with some really sound advice regarding running their engines in the Gulf of Mexico, more specifically what to do if you find yourself running through an oil slick. As far as I'm concerned, their advice will work for j...

28th June 2010.
By Ed Sherman

Yesterday Yamaha Motors came out with some really sound advice regarding running their engines in the Gulf of Mexico, more specifically what to do if you find yourself running through an oil slick. As far as I’m concerned, their advice will work for just about any makers engine. Here’s the official Yamaha take on it:

“In the weeks following the BP/Transocean’s Deepwater Horizon’s oil spill Yamaha has received many calls from many concerned consumers who wish to learn more about the operation of Yamahaa outboard motors in crude oil contaminated waters. The conditions that currently exist in portions of the Gulf of Mexico are are unique and unusual. There is very little data to support any assertions for how the product might react when exposed to them.

While Yamaha does not recommend deliberate operation of it’s outboards in oil contaminated water, we realize the outboards will be used in these conditions.

Yamaha takes some pride in the fact that so many Yamaha-powered boats are being used in support of clean-up efforts in the Gulf, and we have been monitoring dealer and consumer comments regarding the performance of these outboards. To date, few difficulties have been reported as a direct result of oil contamination.

For outboards that are used in crude oil contaminated water, Yamaha has the following general recommendations:

  • Operators should use extreme vigilance in monitoring water pressure and temperature conditions of the outboard.
  • Frequently clean the outboard lower unit, using a mixture of liquid dish detergent and water.
  • Frequently clear debris from the cooling water intake intakes using a stiff brush.

Consumer questions regarding use in oil contaminated waters should be directed to Yamaha Consumer Relations at: (866)894-1626.

This all seems like sensible sound advice to me and again, my view is that this is good advice for all outboard motors running around the Gulf these days.


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Ed Sherman

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Ed Sherman is a regular contributor to boats.com, as well as to Professional Boatbuilder and Cruising World, where he previously was electronics editor. He also is the curriculum director for the American Boat and Yacht Council. Previously, Ed was chairman of the Marine Technology Department at the New England Institute of Technology. Ed’s blog posts appear courtesy of his website, EdsBoatTips.
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