Yamaha 242 Maintenance: So Easy Even a Teenager Can Do It - 05/26/2010

All new boats provide their owners with surprises, some good, some not so good. Happily, the Yamaha 242 Limited S provided a nice surprise when it came to maintenance. Part of the agreement with Mom and Dad for the new boat was that all four boys had to lend a hand in the care and up-keep. This week it was Jonathan’s turn, and his task was the 10-hour engine oil change with very explicit instructions NOT to get any oil on anything -- or no fishing trip! Was this possible, and how long did it take him?

Yamaha 242
Jonathan, age 15, checking the oil in the starboard engine prior to a fishing trip.
Yamaha 242
As with many boats, the engine hatch is integrated into part of the aft seating in the cockpit.

If you are not used to a direct drive boat or the unusually compact engine design from Yamaha, you will be surprised when you open the hatch, as was Jonathan. The twin engine design is unique in that the height of the engines does not rise above the level of the main deck, yet you have lots of room to get your hands on every part of each motor.

Yamaha 242
The air filter, oil filter and oil dipstick are all easily accessible with plenty of room to change or check them.

The location of the oil filter on the side of each engine makes it very easy to get to and change. There is also more than enough room below it to place rags to catch any spillage.

Yamaha 242
Not happy with Dad for making him use the hand pump, Jonathan preservers and empties the oil in each engine.

After changing the oil and oil filters for each engine, you should always perform a systems check. This is where another nice surprise was encountered. The engine flush/cooling connection was located port and starboard to either side of the engine hatch, making hooking up a breeze.

Yamaha 242
The engine flush/cooling connections are located in the cockpit, port and starboard of the engine hatch.

Total time to change the oil, oil filters and run each engine in an operational check was one hour and seven minutes. Total amount of oil spilled in the engine bay: zero. Amount of complaining by Jonathan that this was his chore: lots. From a total maintenance point of view there are several other points to be made. The first is that with direct drive, or jet drive, you have no transmission, which means no additional fluids to deal with on the 242.

Yamaha 242
Jet drive units located forward of where a standard transom would be.

There is no maintenance required on the jet drives other than a visual inspection to check the steering linkage as well as the directional gates which swivel. Since drives themselves are not painted and are made from a special alloy, corrosion is almost a non-issue. But as with any metal that will be immersed in salt water, you need to take precautions, and Yamaha has done so here, with two sacrificial anodes on the side of each engine.

Yamaha 242
Jonathan spending his day trying to coax some fish to the lure.

Within thirty minutes of completing the maintenance, Jonathan was out on the water. All in all, the Yamaha 242 Limited S doesn’t ask much to keep her in perfect working order.

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