Every boat owner—without exception—needs to know the fundamentals of engine maintenance in order to prevent long-term damage and have the ability to make adjustments when they’re on the water. Before we delve into the specifics, it’s crucial to get an understanding of the end goal of engine maintenance. Not only do you want to prevent long-term corrosion and wear, you also want to ensure that your boat is performing at its maximum capacity.
The biggest catch-22 about engine maintenance is that although your vessel is constantly in the water, water—and salt water in particular—is the engine’s worst enemy. Water is corrosive in and of itself, but it also facilitates the growth of fungus and other microbes. To that end, it’s imperative that you maintenance plan includes measures to prevent corrosion and protect against water damage. Over the next couple of days, we’ll be covering everything from how to mix your gasoline and outboard motor oil, to basic steps you can take to maintain your cooling system.