Marine Engine Maintenance

Jul 24, 2015

Marine engine maintenance is a vital part of boating, without a well maintained engine you will be dead in the water as the saying goes. There is now road side assistance on the water you are on your own.

How to keep your boat engine in good shape

While you may not use your boat every day, it is still important to carry out regular checks to ensure everything is in good working order.

This is particularly important regarding the outboard motor, as just like a car engine, it needs regular maintenance to operate at maximum efficiency and to avoid potential breakdowns.


Fortunately there are several simple checks you can carry out yourself to keep your boat engine in tip top condition, although you should always visit a boat mechanic for any serious problems, or if you are unsure about anything:

Outboard motor check list

1. Make sure you always use fresh fuel and carry out frequent checks to ensure that there is no water mixing with the fuel.

2. The fuel tank should be inspected for any signs of deterioration or damage.

3. If your boat isn’t going to be used for some time, then drain the fuel tank and change the motor and gear oil, taking the old fuel and lubricants down to your local rubbish dump for safe disposal.

4. It is really important to check the fuel line and fuel clamps are in good condition, with no wear and tear and no leaks.

5. The water pump impeller should be changed every two years, or every year if your boat is used on salt water.

6. The fuel primer bulb should be uncracked and flexible.

7. Flush through the engine after every trip in your boat and then make sure the water pump has good water flow.

8. Once the engine has been flushed, take out the fuel line and let the engine run to use up remaining fuel in the carburetor. If you have two carburetors, be aware that the top one will run out of fuel first, so it’s a good idea to use a lubricant in the fuel to prevent damage.

9. After engine flushing, don’t forget to turn off the key and also the battery if you have one.

10. Look under the engine casing to check for any leaks and if you see any, visit a boat mechanic.

11. It’s a good idea to regularly apply anti-corrosive lubricants to any moving parts in the engine.

12. Put a plastic cover on the boat engine when the boat isn’t in use, to protect against dust and debris.


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