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How Often Do You Need to Service Your Yamaha Outboards?

Congratulations! You’ve just purchased your first boat—maybe it’s a brand-new Grady-White or a beautifully cared-for model from a previous year—and it’s all sunshine and blue skies ahead.

One of the best things you can do to care for your new boat is keep it up-to-date on service. Cannons Marina is the area’s only 5-Star Certified Yamaha Outboard Motor Service Center, and our techs are highly trained, tested and certified.

Robbie Loper is Cannons Marina’s Master Tech. He’s been working on outboards since 1996 and became Yamaha Master Tech-certified in 2011. Here are his pointers for maintaining your boat for years to come.

Service your boat every 100 hours—or at least once a year

Once a year is the bare minimum; if you put 200 hours on your boat per year, you should service it twice a year. “It’s just like your automobile,” Loper says. “The more you drive it, the more oil changes you need.”

What if you don’t put 100 hours a year annually on your vessel?

“A lot of people will say, ‘I only use my boat 15 hours a year,'” Loper says. “But there’s two things that really degrade oil, and they are heat and humidity.” Just because you don’t use your boat, doesn’t mean its lubricants aren’t going bad.

Why is service so important?

“Outboards are high-performance engines running in a hostile environment”—that is, water—”especially when people fish offshore,” Loper says.

What is included in a service?

Your engine oil, oil filters, lower unit and fuel filters will be changed.

How else can you keep your boat running well?

You should occasionally pull its cowlings off and rinse the engines down with fresh water, Loper says. Boats have drains at the bottom so you can flush out any detritus that’s accumulated. “When the engine is running, it’s breathing and sucking in salt air. It’s a very harsh environment,” he says. “You don’t take your car and run it down the beach, then stick it in the garage. Boats need to be washed down pretty regularly.”

If you have battery switches on your boat, keep them off—that will keep the batteries from dying, Loper adds. Follow the boat manufacturer’s recommendations for guidance on your specific batteries.

Also, keep an eye on your fuel, especially during the hot and humid summer months. It only has a 10- to 14-day shelf life before it starts losing octane, particularly in the summer months. “We recommend that when you buy fuel, you put stabilizer in it, which will help keep it fresh for a longer period of time.” However, he’s quick to add, it will not take old gas and make it fresh.

Browse Yamaha outboard motors for sale in Longboat Key, FL.

To learn more about Cannons Marina’s service offerings, or to make an appointment to have your boat serviced, click here.