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​Quick & Easy Boat Engine Maintenance Checklist


Ever get the feeling that you haven’t done everything you can to make sure your boat is in tip-top shape? Then there’s a chance you don’t have an adequate boat engine maintenance checklist. The good news is that a maintenance checklist doesn’t have to be so cumbersome that it ruins the experience of owning a boat altogether. Here’s a quick and easy guide to caring for your engine that can help you keep your engine performing its best.

Essential Items For Boat Engine Maintenance

When it’s time to maintain your boat engine, here are the items you won’t want to miss:

  • Cleanliness. Is your boat clean? Is the engine itself in good shape when you give it the “eyeball test”? Browse BoatLIFE’s cleaning products to identify the best product for your engine.
  • Oil. Think of oil as the lifeblood of your engine. Just like a car, your boat needs its oil changed to function properly. Many boat owners recommend changing the oil for every 100 hours of engine use—which tends to mean about once per year, depending on your individual consumption. You can either learn how to change your specific engine’s oil or take it in to a dealer for an oil change.
  • Propeller inspection. How does your propeller look? You can use a deep well socket to remove a propeller on an outboard boat motor and ensure that seaweed or fishing line hasn’t gotten through, which could severely impact the quality and function of your motor. You’ll also want to inspect for signs of damage, because dings and dents can have a surprising effect on the efficiency of your motor. There’s no sense paying all that money for gasoline if your propeller isn’t giving you full efficiency.
  • Regular flushing. DiscoverBoating.com recommends flushing out the engine after every trip—freshwater or seawater. This involves starting up the engine to let the water pump works its magic—and don’t forget to inspect the pump itself. After it’s finished, they recommend disconnecting the fuel line to burn the rest of the fuel left in the carburetor.
  • Inspection. Continually inspect your engine for leaks and damage. Discovering a leak may not be a fun prospect, but it’s better to address it quickly with a boating professional. Inspect your engine after every use. For long-term maintenance, regularly inspect the fuel line for cracks, as well as the fuel primer bulb and any relevant fittings. You’ll also want to check for common problems including rust, corrosion, fuel tank damage, water in the fuel, and the proper functioning of the tank vent.

Final Thoughts

Sound like a lot? Once you get your boat engine maintenance checklist down pat, it will seem like any other routine. Just make sure to take good care of your engine and bring it in to a professional when you’re in doubt. And don’t forget to stock up on BoatLIFE’s maintenance products to ensure you always have a clean engine that’s in good working condition.


Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275


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