Everything You Needed to Know About Boat Oil Changes
A car without a running engine is useless. It can’t take you anywhere and is basically just an overpriced place to sit. The same goes for a boat. If you don’t take care of your boat’s engine, your summer water fun can be limited to squeezing into your kid’s overpriced flamingo float, and no one wants that to be their reality. As with a car, changing the oil in your boat is one of the most important maintenance tasks and if overlooked, the consequences can be serious and expensive. You can find yourself landlocked or worse, stranded on the water. Regularly scheduled boat oil changes will help extend the engines lifespan along with your summer fun.
The Most Important Task
Routine scheduled boat oil changes make a huge impact on how well the engine performs and they increase its longevity. As previously mentioned, cars require a certain amount of maintenance to keep them running smoothly, but boats require an even greater commitment from their owners. The oil in the engine keeps it running smoothly by ensuring proper lubrication and better gas mileage. Harmful dirt, acid and water can accrue in the oil over the season. Left alone, these can cause corrosion and damage to your boat’s engine. Additionally, broken down oil can turn into a menacing slush. An oil change will eliminate these issues because it removes the offenders and prevents them from creating an internal toxic environment. As a boat owner, this is one of the most important things you can do to protect your engine and your wallet.
When You Should Change Your Oil
Knowing the “why” is key but the “when” is equally important. So how often should your boat’s oil be changed? Most experts agree that a gasoline engine oil change should be done once per season or every 100 hours (whichever occurs first), while every 50 hours is suggested for a diesel engine. A new vessel (or an older vessel with a new engine) should have a first oil change at 20 hours. After the initial change, the regular 100 hour/once per season may resume. Of course, always refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
I Can Do It Myself, but Should I
The task of changing your boat’s oil is not complicated, however, it is messy and comes with an environmental responsibility. Having a way to properly contain and recycle the old oil is of the utmost importance. Hiring an experienced technician to perform the boat’s oil change can cost a little extra, but it can also provide peace of mind that the job is done correctly. At Pensacola Shipyard and Marina, we have independent on-site contractors available for hire. Their vast industry knowledge coupled with our clean marina and clean boatyard certifications ensures that your maintenance is being handled both expertly and environmentally friendly.
The time of year to perform a boat oil change may garner some differing opinions. Some prefer to do it at the beginning of the season while others prefer at the end. Your engine’s hours may somewhat dictate this, but changing the oil prior to the seldom used winter season is wise. Leaving dirty, acidic oil to sit in your engine, especially in colder weather can leave the engine susceptible to costly damage.
Are All Oils Created Equal?
There is no shortage of oil brands to consider. If you are using a professional they can help you select the best choice for your vessel’s engine. If you are doing it yourself, you can feel confident using the manufacturer’s suggestion.
Performing a routine oil change on your vessel is a part of maintenance that cannot be ignored. Clean oil is as vital to your engine as clean drinking water is to you. Regular oil changes are a great time to inspect the engine and make any repairs needed, and they will ensure your boat runs smoothly and efficiently.
From on-site contractors, to generous workspace and a clean environment, Pensacola Shipyard can meet all your maintenance needs in one convenient location.