What Are the Best Tips for Boat Engine Repairs?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 October 2019
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Just as car engines need service and repairs at regular intervals, so too do boat engines. Boat engine repairs can often be done at home with basic tools, while other repairs may be more in-depth. If the boat engine repairs that need to be done are in-depth repairs, it is a good idea to purchase a manual for that specific engine. This will allow the person doing the repairs to have step-by-step instructions for common repairs, as well as a good way to identify parts should they get rearranged or lost.

Try to clear out a space for working on the boat engine repairs. This space should be clean and spacious, and if possible, it should contain a workbench. If parts need to be removed from the engine, it is important to lay them out in the order in which they were taken out. This will make reassembly much easier and will prevent parts from being reattached in the incorrect orientation. Clean all parts properly, re-lubricate if necessary, and inspect all parts for damage before reinstalling them. If the engine is not removed from the boat, make sure to clear out a surface on the boat itself as a workspace. The workspace should be clean and organized.


Be sure to have all tools necessary for boat engine repairs before beginning the process. Walking away from the engine to go buy or borrow tools can make the repairer forget steps in the process or make mistakes during the repair. Also buy any oil, gasoline, lubricants, and so on that will be necessary during the repair to ensure all parts get the substances they need.

Like automobile engines, parts in boat engines will wear out. Check with the manufacturer's maintenance schedules to see when common parts need to be replaced. Many boat engine repairs are done when common parts fail, so the manufacturer may recommend replacing these parts before they fail and cause more problems. Gaskets, thermostats, pumps, and so on can cause problems down the road, so replace them if necessary at the scheduled times.

The motor should be flushed of all moisture before repairs are begun. In fact, many manufacturers recommend flushing the motor after every use to prevent corrosion and buildup inside the motor's parts. This flushing can extend the life of the parts and can prevent damage in the long run. Flushing before starting boat engine repairs will ensure other parts are not damaged by the presence of moisture.


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