Keeping Your Outboard Motor Clean During Saltwater Use

Keeping Your Outboard Motor Clean During Saltwater Use

Although boating in salt water is an exciting experience, the damage saltwater can do to an outboard motor should not be underestimated. Fortunately, there are several preventative care and maintenance precautions outboard motor owners can take to ensure their outboards keep running well for years. Refer to this list next time you take your boat out of saltwater:

Flush the Engine:

Flushing the engine with fresh water after every saltwater use promises that the engine will stay free of corrosive salt buildup or debris. Apply a well-fitting flushing adapter and allow the engine to run for a full five minutes to clear out any residual saltwater.

Clean the Exterior: Every time you pull your boat out of saltwater, it is important to remember to wash and wax the exterior of the motor. In addition to keeping the outboard motor clean, regular washing and waxing also makes it look great and protects it against harmful salt buildup. After washing, apply a high-quality marine wax to protect against damage.

Apply Silicone Spray:

Several times a summer, remove the engine hood and coat the power head with a high-quality silicone spray that promises not to damage rubber or plastic. Replace engine cover and re-apply the silicone spray every third or fourth outing.

Take Care of Nicks:

Although they are a normal part of outboard motor use, nicks and scratches in the paint job create areas that are vulnerable to corrosion, rust and saltwater damage. Examine the outboard frequently for any nicks or scratches and touch them up immediately with matching marine paint. If the nick is deep, use a high-quality metal primer to fill the area in before painting.

Grease the Components:

The moving components of an outboard engine come from the factory with a dense coating of grease to keep them lubricated and running smoothly. Over time, saltwater depletes this grease coating and leaves the moving parts vulnerable to friction and damage. Use a grease gun to keep the components greased and protected from corrosion, rust and wear.

Protect Your Engine from Sunlight:

Sunlight breaks down rubber and plastic structures and makes them vulnerable to further damage. Whenever possible, store your boat and outboard motor out of direct sunlight. A designated garage our outbuilding is a fantastic option but, if this is not possible, invest in a high-quality, UV-blocking canvas cover that fits your outboard well.

Although saltwater can easily damage an outboard motor, there is not need to forgo saltwater boating. Instead, pay careful attention to regular and preventative maintenance that will help keep your outboard motor clean during saltwater use. These easy tips and tricks guarantee that your outboard motor will stay in great shape no matter how often you hit the saltwater.