Tips for Optimal Boat Performance

Though it can be a great deal of fun to own a boat, they can present challenges if you don’t keep up with maintenance. Adhering to the following maintenance tips can help you avoid costly fixes and spend your time where you should—the water.

Check status of trailer tire pressure

You can’t fish if you can’t even get to the lake! It’s easy to forget to maintain your trailer in addition to your boat, and many people fall victim to their trailer tire blowing out on the way to the lake.

Tires on a trailer are usually set at a higher psi than those of passenger vehicles. The right pressure should be about 50 psi and can be found on the sidewall. A low tire means a hot tire, which is more liable to blow out. Be sure to investigate for weather cracking, which can happen when trailer tires sit outside throughout the year and are exposed to the elements. Make sure you swap out cracked tires and keep the tires off the ground during seasons they are not used. 

Grease trailer bearings

Just like the tires of your trailer, the bearings are also easy to forget about. They are kept in water every time you put out or put in your boat. Though the hub closures are built to effectively keep water out, things like inattention and age can lead to water leakage, which brings rust and corrosion.

Rust functions similarly to sandpaper in a bearing, causing scraping and a hotter run which boils the grease out. This makes the problem even worse.

Be sure to keep the bearings greased as part of boat maintenance at least annually with a high-quality synthetic grease to resist water washout, like AMSOIL Synthetic Water-Resistant Grease.

Switch out lower unit gear lube

The lower unit of your boat motor is constantly in contact with water. If water gets into said unit, gear lube can start foaming, which diminishes protection against wear. Swap the gear lube out for new at the end of each season to maintain exceptional performance for the next year.

Did you know? The AMSOIL easy-pack makes changing gear lube easier when compared to stiff cone-shaped bottles or a gear-lube pump. It decreases mess, potential headaches and excess.

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Remove debris from the prop

When you’re in the process of swapping out your gear lube, make sure you take the prop off and remove debris from it, including fishing line that has been wrapped around it. The seal that keeps water out of the lower unit lets water in if it is damaged, causing issues.

Change oil and oil filter

A debate has been going for a while regarding boat maintenance and oil—do you change the oil before or after the season?

Oil that has been used is on the acidic side, and if it sits in your four-stroke motor when it is not being actively used, it can decay parts of your motor that are susceptible, like seals and bearings. Be sure to change the filter and oil after every season before storage to make sure you have peak protection throughout the off-season.

Additives to fuel should be continuous throughout the season

The majority of people are used to using automotive additives in their fuel from time to time. When dealing with marine applications, on the other hand, fuel additives can be beneficial with each tank of fuel.

Ethanol is present in the majority of gasoline sold today and is unfortunately drawn to gasoline. If dampness gathers inside your gas tank, ethanol can bond to it and it can decrease optimal performance.

The main goal of specifically-formulated products like AMSOIL Quickshot® is to keep water dispersed in the fuel tank and avert phase separation, such as. Constant use will also assist in preventing deposits, gums and varnish from forming, effectively decreasing performance. 

Grease tilt tube

Like many parts, tilt lube is susceptible to rust and corrosion, which inhibit the motor from moving up or down, impacting steering. Post-season, be sure to grease the tilt lube with a water-resistant grease. It will not only protect against the elements of rust and corrosion, but greasing each season will help with steering. 

Utilize a specially-formulated oil for marine applications

Don’t make the assumption that a car motor oil will work as well to protect your marine engine. Automotive oils do not have enough anti-rust and anti-corrosion inhibitors to keep marine engines safe. A marine engine oil formulated with the right additives will add to the longevity of your motor. Shop AMSOIL Synthetic Marine Engine Oil here.