Outboard Boat Care and Maintenance

If you have a car, you have to take care of it, which means oil changes, washes, and regular engine care. The same goes for your boat. You don’t want to neglect your engine’s needs, which is why we’ve put together a quick list of procedures to keep your outboard motor engine running great for a long time.

Flush the Engine

After every trip, you should flush out the boat’s engine. To do this, you’ll want to start the engine. Make sure no one puts the engine in gear, and you’ll want to practice good boat safety by staying clear of the propeller.

While the engine is running, you’ll want to check the water flow from the water pump. The water coming out of the pump might be warm, but if it’s hot, something’s not right. You also want to make sure that the water coming out is flowing strong, or else there might be a blockage somewhere. If you suspect a blockage, turn the engine off to prevent overheating and move a small wire through the tube. If there is still a problem, it might be time for a new water pump.

Flush the Fuel

Once the engine has been flushed, you’ll want to clear all of the fuel in the carburetor, and to do that you’ll need to disconnect the fuel line and let the fuel in the engine run through.

Engine Cowling

Again, after every trip, it’s good practice to remove the engine cowling and check for fuel leaks or water leaks. Should you come across leaks, it’s important to take your boat into a marina for service.


Corrosion is the enemy of all metal fixtures and hardware. One area that needs special attention in the engine is the fuel line—take a look at the clamps for rust and corrosion and have them replaced if needed. The other area in the engine you’ll want to check is the fuel tank. The tanks can become damaged or corroded, and you’ll need to address it if you notice a problem. Corrosion only gets worse the longer you let it go unchecked.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to do your own service work, just schedule an appointment with a Michigan full service marina. Full service means you can get all of your maintenance taken care of, store your boat, and even get a snack while you wait. The engine is the heart of your aquatic steed—don’t let it go neglected.


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