Tips for Getting Your Boat’s Engine Ready For Summer


Believe it or not, we get customers hitting us up on Twitter and Facebook all the time with boat questions.

If you have a boat, you probably can’t wait for summer to roll around so you can get that thing out onto the water. But if you really want to enjoy your boat this summer, don’t just rush out there. If you take care of your boat now, it stands a much better chance of serving you well all summer long. Getting a boat ready for summer doesn’t have to turn into an expensive chore. If you have the initiative, there’s plenty you can do fairly easily to get your boat ready for summer. Here are some of the top boat upkeep tips for you to consider.


Check the Battery

If your battery died over the winter or is just about to die, you may have an unpleasant surprise come summer boating time. Before it’s time to take out the boat, charge the battery overnight with a slow charger, then give it a day and take it to get load tested. The dealer or parts distributor you take it to can tell you if your battery is ready for a summer of boating. A bad battery means a terrible kickoff to boating season.

Check the Fluids

Make sure all your fluids are topped off, including engine oil, power steering fluid, gear case oil, antifreeze and any other fluids the owner’s manual indicates your boat needs to function properly.

Check All Belts, Hoses and Cables

You will definitely want to clean or replace your fuel hoses (see below), but there are several other belts, hoses and cables in your boat’s system you will want to check as well, including steering and throttle cables. Make sure belts and hoses are secure and don’t have any holes, and your cables are not too stiff.

Check Cooling System

Your water pump and thermostat need to work correctly to keep the engine cool for proper functioning of your boat. Check the impellers for any cracks or wear, and make sure the thermostat is working right. Replace it if necessary. You will typically need to replace an impeller every three or four years, more often if you use your boat frequently.

Check the Bilge Pump

Make sure the bilge pump float switch will kick in to signal the pump if the water level gets too high. If it is not functioning properly, you could see flooding, damage to the pump or an unwanted drain on the battery.

Check Filters

It’s important your fuel filter is clean to prevent water or debris from getting to the engine and damaging it. You should replace your fuel filter once a year or every hundred hours of use. A 10-micron fuel/water separating filter is ideal.

Check Anodes for Corrosion

Some boat owners may not even know about their sacrificial anodes. You will find them under your boat near metal parts or outdrives. Their job is to absorb electrical current in the water, so it does not damage your drives. If you see evidence of corrosion, replace them.

General Safety Check

Make sure the boat has the proper number of life jackets that are in good condition. Remember you need one for each person on the boat. Replace fire extinguishers if necessary, usually if they are five years old or older. Make sure the horn works, you have a suitable anchor and a suitable distress flag and rescue tube. Ensure the radio works, the indicator lights are functioning properly and you have a first aid kit.

Clean the Fuel System

This is a biggie. It’s also where we can help the most.

A very important way to prepare a boat for summer is by giving it a thorough boat fuel system cleaning. Although you probably don’t think much about it, your boat’s fuel tank contributes considerably to whether or not your boat will run smoothly. Sludge and debris can easily build up in the fuel tank and flow throughout the system, and if it does, you could run into trouble.

The contaminants and debris in a dirty fuel tank can clog the carburetor or fuel injection system and cause the motor to stall. Also, the contaminants can clog and ruin your fuel lines and break down the gas in the tank. By cleaning the fuel system at the start of summer, you can get rid of all the built-up debris and sludge from the previous summer so you can get a fresh start with a clean tank and a healthy engine.

Cleaning the fuel system at the start of summer is a great idea for your boat, and it’s something you can do yourself. Before you begin, you will want to make sure you are in a well-ventilated area with a protective face mask and gloves. You also want to make sure you’re not around any open flames or anything that can spark as you will work with exposed gasoline. To start, you siphon the remaining gas out of your tank then push a clear house into the tank below the fuel level. Use a primer bulb to start the flow of gas and put the other end of the hose in a five-gallon bucket.

Once the gas is out, dump two gallons of alcohol or an approved fuel tank cleaning product into the tank. Give it about half an hour and then siphon the alcohol out into a filter you put over the bucket. The filter should catch all the debris and sediment in the tank. Repeat the process until the alcohol is clean. Clean all the hoses with alcohol as well or replace them.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to do all of that, we strongly recommend our Rislone Complete Fuel System Treatment, which is not only our best-ever fuel system treatment, but also one that’s equivalent to six separate additives. Boaters use this product all the time.

Choose Rislone for Your Boat Preparation Needs

If you’re looking for great fuel system cleaning products for your boat, look no further than Rislone. We have the highest-quality, most effective fuel cleaners on the market. To find the perfect product for your boat’s fuel system, contact Rislone now.