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3 Ways You Can Keep Your Outboard Motor In Good Condition

Purchasing a boat for seasonal recreation purposes can provide you and your family with hours of summer fun, and if you are lucky enough to live in an area that enjoys a mild winter climate, you may be able to use your boat on a year-round basis. In order to ensure that it remains in good running order, there are three things that you should do as a matter of routine no matter if you use your boat for three months in the summer or during all twelve months. 

Flush Out the Engine Often

Flushing out the engine following the instructions in your boat’s owner’s manual is recommended after each time you use the boat in salt water. Exposure to salt corrodes the aluminum that makes up the majority of an outboard motor. Your motor should also be flushed out after each outing if you use it in a freshwater lake or river that contains brackish material or has high degrees of pollution, sand, or silt. If you use your boat in a relatively clean mountain lake, you should nonetheless flush your engine out after several uses.

Don’t Use Ethanol Gas

Ethanol gas is not recommended for use in outboard motors because ethanol products attract moisture — and that’s one of the last things you need in a gas engine. Water in your gas tank can leave you stranded in the middle of the lake, river, or on the ocean and also cause you to spend substantial time and money on repairs. A good marine fuel-water filter should be a standard part of your outboard motor’s gas line, but hedge your bets by using regular unleaded gasoline rather than anything that contains ethanol. You should also make certain to use fuel that is less than 60 days old. If you only use your boat on a seasonal basis, empty the fuel tank at the end of the season and either take it to the proper recycling authority or use it in your vehicle.

Inspect the Fuel Line Often

It’s very important that you inspect the fuel line often during the course of boating season. In particular, look for cracks or leaks in the fuel line, check the tank itself for corrosion, and make certain that the fuel line clamps aren’t becoming rusty. You should also check the fuel line fittings to make sure that they are properly sealed and not loose.

Keep in mind that nothing should take the place of regularly scheduled maintenance by a skilled and knowledgeable marine mechanic. Your boat should be serviced by a professional, such as Rick’s Master Marine, at least once per year, and always at the beginning of applicable boating seasons.

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