How to start an inboard boat out of water?

Last Updated on October 1, 2022

While it is exciting to go boating and have fun, it is also important to prioritize safety. Your boat needs to be in a good condition before you launch it in the water. One essential security tip when it comes to boating is to check your engine before you get into the water. This step is essential as it will save you some serious damages if anything should happen.

What you need to start an inboard engine out of water

There are two ways to start an inboard boat out of water. You can either use a motor flusher or a circular plunge. Whichever method you choose to apply, you will need to get your materials ready before starting the engine.

Circular plunger

The circular plunger is also referred to as fake-a-lake.  It is a plunger that recreates a lake-like condition for the boat to start well. The device works with a hose. It has an outlet which will be connected to a hose. Water flows through the hose to the circular plunger. The device secures that boat’s water intake. When the water accumulates in the plunger, it recreates the environment the boat needs to start.

Motor flusher

Another device that you can use to test your boat before entering water is a motor flusher. It is connected to the inlet vents in the motor and helps to retain water in its cups. With this device, the engine will have an abundant water supply when it is outside water.

The motor flusher is also useful for riding the motor of dirt and debris. After keeping the boat away for a long time, the motor flusher is also useful for ridding it of the sand, dust, and silt it would have gathered over time. Cleaning the motor with the flusher is usually an essential aspect of a maintenance routine.

When you are starting your engine outside of water, the flusher is essential too. It comes with rubber cups that are built to work with a wide range of motors.

After getting any of these materials and a hose, you are set to start your inboard boat on land before you set out into the water.

Steps to starting your inboard engine out of water

As stated earlier, there are two ways you can start the inboard engine on dry ground. You can either use the circular plunger or the motor flusher.

Starting your inboard engine with the circular plunger

Using the circular plunger, you can start your inboard engine in a few steps.

Step 1

Attach the hose to the plunger. The side of the plunger that is open is meant to be attached to the hose. When attaching the hose to the plunger, ensure that you fix it tight. This will prevent the hose from disconnecting from the plunger when the water pressure goes up.

Step 2

Test the water flow. To do this, turn the faucet on and observe the water flow. Turn off the faucet.

Step 3

Connect the plunger to the boat’s water intake. To do this, you have to get under the boat and locate the water intake. The boat’s water intake is the hole through which the engine takes in water. When attaching the plunger to this intake, ensure that it balances well. Position the legs according to the boat’s height from the ground. Ensure that the handles are firm.

Step 4

Turn on the faucet when the plunger is positioned firmly. Let the water flow at maximum speed and overflow on the cup. The aim is to create a condition that is similar to that of the lake or the river you will be boating on.

Step 5

Start the inboard engine. When the motor is running, the water’s pressure from the plunger will decrease. This shows that the inboard engine is in good condition.

Step 6

Turn off the inboard engine. Stop the water supply. Detach the plunger from the boat’s water intake.

Starting your inboard engine with a motor flusher

You can start the inboard engine with a motor flusher in few steps

Step 1

Get your flusher and pour water on it. The water will make it hold better and prevent it from disconnecting as the water runs.

Step 2

Connect the flusher to the water intake. When making the connection, ensure that they fit perfectly to allow for better suction.

Step 3

Attach one end of the hose and fit perfectly to the nozzle.

Step 4

Attach the hose to the faucet. Turn on the faucet to let water flow.

Step 5

Turn the boat’s engine to neutral and turn it on. as the engine runs, the water flows out at lower pressure. This shows that the engine is in good condition and is ready to go into the water.

Step 6

Turn off the inboard engine and stop the water supply.

Tips for starting your inboard engine out of water

As you test your inboard engine, these tips will make your exercise go smoothly

  • Ensure that you place your boat on a high flat surface to give you unhindered access to the under part and the water intake.
  • When attaching the plunger to the intake, make sure to fix it tightly to prevent it from falling off when the water’s pressure is high. If it falls out of the vent, the engine will run dry.
  • When you are done testing the engine, ensure that you put off the engine before turning off the water supply.
  • When testing the engine, let it run for up to 10 minutes. This is enough time to test the engine and ensure that it is in good shape before you set it into the water. As the engine is working, it is also getting rid of debris and dirt that has accumulated over time.


You can start your inboard boat out of the water using either the motor flusher or the circular plunger. Either way, you chose, this guide has you covered. With the steps explained here, you can test your engine in a short time.