How to Clean Your Boat Engine
May 20, 2013
Just like any other machine, your boat needs constant care and attention to run properly for as long as possible. Your boat is subjected to wind, water, and wear every time you go out for a dip. No matter how beautiful or solid your boat may look like from the outside, it is still necessary for you to look into its hidden components and clean your boat engine regularly.
Your Boat Engine is an Especially Iffy Part
You might not think that it requires cleaning and care, but it does. Good boat-keeping means ensuring that each and every part of your boat is properly cared for.
Overall, the best way to keep your floater looking good and running well is to ensure that you clean and detail it regularly. Even simple tasks—like hosing the boat down with freshwater after every trip. Or, to apply a marine protectant on the gel coat –will go a long way towards preserving its beauty and utility for the years to come.
When it comes to cleaning your boat engine, you don’t need to be an expert boat mechanic to pull off the job properly. Here’s what you can do to maintain your boat on your own:
Seven steps on how to clean your boat engine (outboard)
1. Flush out the engine after every trip with freshwater. Whether you’ve come from a freshwater or saltwater marine excursion, make sure that you rinse the outboard boat engine with freshwater after every outing.
2. Slip on a set of rabbit ears to the part where the water is picked up, then attach a garden hose onto it. Start up the engine and let the water pump do the rest of the job. But check the water flow to determine if you have debris stuck somewhere inside the outflow pump.
3. If the water doesn’t come out strong, shut the engine down first. Insert a small piece of wire into the outflow pump tube and work it back and forth until the debris is loosened and flows out with the water.
4. After flushing, disconnect the fuel lines and turn the engine on once more. Let it use up all the fuel in the carburetor, and then switch off the batteries.
5. Remove the engine cowling and inspect the engine block for fuel or water leaks. If you detect one, be sure to contact your boat mechanic immediately as you will probably be unqualified to do this part of the job.
6. If your engine is in good working order, wipe it off with clean washcloth and spray on a generous amount of anti-corrosive product such as WD-40. Apply a lubricant onto the moving parts to keep them working seamlessly.
7. Replace the cowling and wipe it down with a clean cloth. Protect the outboard engine with a tarp or plastic cover whenever the boat is dry-docked.
If you’re ready not only to clean your boat engine, but to move to overall boat detailing DIY job, check out our boat detailing step-by-step guide on the topic!