Although you should have your boat professionally serviced each year before you lay it up for the winter, you can carry out small maintenance tasks yourself. One job that you can take on relatively easily is changing the oil. This is a job that ideally should be done every 100 hours or so of operation or at least annually.
What You’ll Need
• oil extractor pump
• ‘earmuffs’ (if your boat is not in the water)
• oil wrench
• absorbent padding
• fresh oil
• new oil filter
Oil extractor pumps are relatively inexpensive to buy and work by drawing the oil out of the engine via the dipstick tube. ‘Earmuffs’ are two suction cups mounted on a ‘V’-shaped length of tubing. Always use marine-grade oil for your boat’s engine. Motor oil is not really suitable, as boat engines tend to work much harder than cars. You can find everything you need for this job at Offshore Supply.
How To Do It
1. If your boat is on your trailer, your first job is to supply the water intake at the gear-case with cooling water. To do this, cover the water intakes with a set of ‘earmuffs’. The hose fitting sited at the ‘V’ provides water to the engine. If your boat is on the water, simply run the engine for five minutes.
2. When five minutes have elapsed, switch off the engine or the hose and remove the dipstick.
3. Place an absorbent pad underneath the dipstick tube to protect the surface from drips.
4. Next, put the oil extractor suction pipe right down the dipstick tube, until it won’t go any further. Pump out all the oil from the engine. The pump will hold the oil safely until you can dispose of it.
5. Now you need to remove the oil filter. To do this, wrap an old piece of rag around the filter and unfasten it using your wrench.
6. Rub a small amount of oil around the sealing gasket on the new filter and screw it into place.
7. Wipe the dipstick clean with a rag and replace it in the tube.
8. Fill the engine with new oil via the oil fill port, marked ‘oil’.
Make Light Work of Oil Changes
You can quickly and easily change your boat’s oil yourself by following the guidelines given above and ensuring you have all the necessary marine supplies. Always read your owner’s manual before you start, as some makes of boat engine have specific instructions for oil changes. If you are in any doubt, seek the advice of a professional boat maintenance contractor.
For all your boat servicing needs, contact the experts at Offshore Supply.