Skip Navigation

Select Language

Boat Maintenance Guide

Keeping Your Boat in Top Shape

Whether you’re taking your boat out of storage in the spring, using it during the season or putting it away for the winter, proper maintenance ensures that your boat is ready for a day on the water. Follow these maintenance tips to keep your boat in top condition.

Beginning of Season

After a long winter in storage, you can’t wait to get your boat in the water. Before you head to your favorite lake, take these steps to get your vessel ready for another fun-filled summer.

Battery icon


Charge before installing; consider replacing the battery if it’s over four years old.

Spark plug icon

Spark Plug

If you didn’t replace them last fall, be sure to change the spark plugs.

Rope icon

Ropes & Safety Equipment

Check to make sure everything is in working order; replace any broken or worn items.

Drain plug icon

Drain Plug

Insert drain plug properly.

Bilge pump icon

Bilge Pump

Ensure that pump is working properly.

Electrical wires icon

Electrical Wires

Check wires; fix any corroded connectors.

Engine belt icon

Belts & Hoses

Inspect thoroughly and replace any that are torn or excessively worn.

Technician working on boat motor.

During the Season

Maintain your boat during the season and you’ll spend more time on the water and less time in the repair shop. Between outings, consider taking the following steps to keep your boat ready for your next adventure.

Boat icon


Wash down after each use to keep finish looking good and to help stop the spread of invasive species.

Boat interior icon


Mold and mildew are the enemy of your boat’s interior. Wipe it down after each use.

Battery icon


If your boat isn’t going to be used for a long period of time, put battery on a trickle charger.

Gas pump icon


Consider using gas without ethanol – commonly called Rec Fuel.

Gas stabilizer icon


Use marine-specific fuel stabilizer to reduce oxidation and phase separation.

Boat propeller icon


Periodically remove the propeller and check it for signs of damage.

Flush engine icon

Flush Engine

After each outing, flush the engine to prevent damage to internal components.

Technician repairing boat engine.

End of Season

Before putting your boat in storage, take these steps to prepare your boat for the off-season. Doing this allows you to catch any potential issues and fix them before next spring.

Boat engine icon


Winterize all mechanical systems; remove all water and add antifreeze where necessary.

Store gear icon

Store Gear

Remove any gear that should be stored indoors.

Battery icon


Remove and store at home on a trickle charger; check electrolyte levels on lead-acid batteries.

Oil can filter icon

Oil & Filter

Change oil and filters.

Spark plug icon

Spark Plugs

Replace so boat is ready for next season.

Drain plug icon

Drain Plug

Open to allow water to drain out.

Boat icon


Clean and wax to protect boat’s finish.

Mold spores icon


Clean the seats, flooring and other interior components. Dirt and grime can degrade the upholstery.

Boat cover icon


Depending on where it is stored, choose the appropriate cover to protect your vessel.

Learn more about quality boat maintenance, find your part, or find where to buy your part today.

The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.

Related Articles