5 Expert Boat Maintenance Tips | AMSOIL

Smooth Sailing Ahead

As fun as it is to own a boat, they can create headaches if you neglect maintenance. Follow AMSOIL’s boat maintenance and boat engine maintenance tips to help you avoid expensive repairs and stay on the water.

Check Trailer Tire Pressure and Condition

Let’s start with a step that’s easy to overlook: boat trailer maintenance. You can’t get to the fish if you fail to get to the lake. It’s not uncommon to see someone pulled over alongside the highway because their trailer tire blew out. A low tire equals a hot tire, and hot tires are more likely to blow out. Check for weather cracking. Trailer tires often sit outside year-round, exposed to the sun. Replace cracked tires and store your boat and trailer with the tires elevated and covered during the off-season.

Grease Trailer Bearings

Like the tires, trailer bearings are easy to overlook. They are submerged in water every time you launch and load your boat. Although the hub seals are designed to keep water out, age and neglect can allow water intrusion, which invites rust and corrosion. Rust acts like sandpaper and scours the ball bearings, causing them to run hotter and boil the grease out, worsening the problem. Grease the bearings as part of boat maintenance at least once a year with a high-quality synthetic grease designed to resist water washout, such as AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease.

Change Lower-Unit Gear Lube

The lower unit houses gears, bearings and seals that require a quality gear lube to perform properly and last as designed. The pinion gear concentrates extreme pressure on the ring gear teeth, especially during throttle bursts. If the lubricant film weakens (due to water intrusion, most likely) and fails to keep the gear teeth separated, they can chip and lead to failure. This can also occur if you neglect to service the lower unit annually and allow the lubricant to deplete to a dangerously low level. The lubricant’s extreme-pressure properties are key to providing superior gear protection. The lower-unit pinion gear concentrates increased pressure on the forward gear during throttle bursts, which can rupture the fluid film. Change gear lube annually for best protection.

amsoil boating tips

The shift dog is another area of concern. It contains large teeth that mate with similar teeth on the forward or reverse gears, connecting the drive shaft to the prop. The shift dog is typically made of softer metal than the gears so it wears out instead of the gears, which are more expensive to replace. Strong anti-wear properties are vital to ensuring the lower unit shifts properly and stays in gear. Changing lower-unit gear oil can be a hassle when using rigid conical bottles or messy gear-lube pumps. The AMSOIL easy-pack makes the job much easier and cleaner.

Check The Prop For Debris

While you’re changing the gear lube during your boat maintenance routine, remove the prop and check for wrapped fishing line or other debris. It can damage the seal that keeps water out of the lower unit, allowing water intrusion.

Boat Engine Maintenance: Change Oil & Filter
Engine oil is your lone defense against breakdowns and poor performance due to wear and deposits. For best boat engine maintenance, change oil every fall prior to storage. That way you remove the acidic byproducts of combustion and ensure fresh oil is available to protect components against corrosion during storage. Don’t forget to change the oil filter, too.

Use an engine oil specifically designed for marine engines. Contrary to popular belief, motor oil has no natural ability to prevent rust or corrosion. Instead, special rust and corrosion inhibitors must be added to the formulation to provide the required protection, and some oils simply don’t contain the correct additives in the correct concentration.

Rust and corrosion protection are vital given your engine’s exposure to water. When you shut down the engine, some of the valves remain partially open, allowing damp air to infiltrate the combustion chamber. Rust and corrosion begin to form, creating contaminants that flake off and populate the oil, where it acts like sandpaper and scours metal surfaces until engine failure results. Get more tips from AMSOIL here.











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AMSOIL offers a broad range of automotive and industrial lubricants and filtration equipment which exceed industry performance specifications by a wide margin. AMSOIL has also continued to set new industry standards for motor oil performance, quality and consistency. AMSOIL founder and industry pioneer Al Amatuzio built his company on the same principles that defined his career as a jet-fighter squadron commander – excellence, integrity and strong leadership. In 1972, the breakthrough came. AMSOIL 10W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil, the result of years of research and inspired by aerospace technology, became the first synthetic motor oil in the world to meet American Petroleum Institute service requirements.