It’s fairly easy to keep your boat engine up to par. In order to maintain safe boating practices, keeping up with your routine motor maintenance is a big factor! There are a few specific things you can do on a more sporadic schedule, but there are also things that you may want factor into a routine after every trip out on the water. If you keep up with maintaining your motor after every trip, you are going to be in better shape further down the road.
After Every Trip
- Flush out the engine. This doesn’t just apply to your adventures out in saltwater, but also in freshwater as well. This will help keep your engine clean and ready for the next outing.
- Start up the engine and let the water pump do the rest.
- While you’re flushing the motor, check the water pump to make sure it has good water flow. You can also carefully put your finger through the stream of water. The water may be warm, but shouldn’t be hot. If the output is not strong, you may have debris stuck in the outflow tube. Next step would be to shut down the engine to prevent overheating and/or damage. Insert a small piece of wire into the flow tube and work it back and forth. Start the engine again and check the output. If that doesn’t solve the problem, you may be looking at needing a new water pump.
- Always use fresh fuel. At the end of the season, your motor maintenance should include draining your tanks and taking the fuel to the proper recycling authority.
Other things to check for on a more spread out basis would be the fuel line for any cracks, or worn spots, check for rust or corrosion on the clamps to the fuel line, check your fuel tanks for damage and/or corrosion. And one last thing to check for would be water in the fuel. Some of these items may seem like overkill when all were focusing on is having fun on the water, but make sure you are keeping up with your boat so there are many more fun days to be had!