Outboard Motor Storage: Protect Your Investment with Best Practices

Outboard Motor Storage: Protect Your Investment with Best Practices

The Ultimate Guide to Outboard Motor Storage

Proper outboard motor storage isn't just about protecting your investment. It's also about ensuring your engine delivers reliable performance when you're eager to get back on the water. By following these best practices, you'll minimize the effects of harsh environments and inactivity, safeguarding your outboard against potential damage.

Short-Term Storage vs. Long-Term Storage

While the core storage principles are similar, the length of storage dictates some variations in your approach:

  • Short-Term Storage (Under approximately 2 months): This focuses on preventing corrosion, maintaining lubrication, and ensuring fuel system stability.
  • Long-Term Storage (Over 2 months, mainly seasonal storage): This includes all short-term steps, plus additional measures to protect internal components during extended inactivity.

Essential Steps for Outboard Motor Storage

  • Cleaning: Thoroughly wash your outboard with fresh water, removing salt, dirt, and debris. Pay extra attention to hard-to-reach areas. Use a mild marine soap for stubborn residue. Read our previous blog for even more information.
  • Flushing:
    • Saltwater Use: Run your engine on flushing muffs or in a tank for an extended period to remove all traces of corrosive salt.
    • Freshwater Use: Flush to circulate fresh water and ensure internal passages are clean, preventing mineral buildup.
  • Fuel System:
    • Add a fuel stabilizer to prevent deterioration, especially for longer storage periods.
    • If storing for several months, consider fogging oil to protect internal engine components. Refer to your owner's manual for proper procedures.
  • Lubrication: Lubricate all moving parts, such as grease points and shift linkages, according to your owner's manual.
  • Electrical: Disconnect the battery and clean the terminals to prevent corrosion. A light coating of dielectric grease can provide further protection.
  • Storage Position: Store your outboard upright if possible. Some outboards might have tilting limitations – always check your manual.
  • Covering: Protect your outboard from dust, moisture, and UV rays with a fitted, breathable cover.

Additional Tips for Long-Term Storage

  • Fogging Cylinders: Refer to your owner's manual for specific instructions on this process, which provides long-term lubrication for internal engine parts.
  • Changing Oil & Filters: Fresh oil and filters before storage helps combat corrosion and protect your engine during the off-season.
  • Winterization: If you live in a climate with freezing temperatures, follow specific winterization procedures to prevent damage from ice forming in the engine block.

By dedicating time to proper storage practices, you'll significantly extend your outboard's lifespan, avoid costly repairs due to neglect, and ensure it's primed for peak performance when you're ready to hit the waves again.

Questions about your outboard motor? Contact us today.

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