Maintenance Activities For Inboard Boats

4 Recommended Maintenance Activities For Inboard Boats

Regular boat maintenance is key to having a boat that’s safe, reliable and easy-to-run.

No matter the size of the boat, maintenance is a continuous process that requires you to give attention to your vessel.

Inboard boat maintenance targets the boat’s engine and it sees to it that the engine runs effectively.

Below are all the recommended activities for inboard boats maintenance.

Maintenance Activities for Inboard Boats

Flushing the Engine

Flushing the boat’s engine is an important part of maintenance.

By flushing, you will be clearing all the salty water and sand from the motor.

Thus, you will be preventing salt, sand and debris build up.

Salt builds up inside the motor, causing many issues such as corrosion and this can affect your boat’s performance.

Most board manufacturers recommend the use of freshwater flush after every trip in salt water.

This helps cool passages of salt residue.

Cleaning the Engine

Other than flushing your engine, you also need to do some thorough cleaning.

Every time you use the boat, you have to wash and wax the motor’s exterior.

Once you have already cleaned the inboard motor, you have to wax it.

Other than the aesthetics, waxing the motor protects it from salt build up.

Your engine might also require thorough cleaning and greasing.

Normally, as I clean my engine I always inspect the prop and skeg.

Oil Changing

A common problem with marine engines is mostly associated to a dirty oil filter or dirty oil.

After cleaning the engine and motor, you have to change your oil.

Changing the oil ensures your inboard engine stays in prime shape. It also boasts your engine’s lifespan.

Most manufacturers recommend that the oil be changed every 50-100 hours of operation or once a year, depending on the specific engine model and how the boat is used.

Check your manufacturer’s manual for more information about the engine’s interval requirements.


The Propeller

After hauling the boat out of water, it becomes easier to check the propellers, seals, prop shafts and zincs.

If any of these parts is broken or damaged, it’d be a good time to do the necessary repairs.

Power Trim Fluid Levels

You have to tilt and adjust the angle of your motor and the boat’s running surface.

These determine how smooth your ride will be and the boat’s grip on water.

Ensure standard maintenance is performed on the power tilt and trim.

As you do this, also check your power-trim fluid levels.


The steering system has a helm that has a specific number of turns referred to as “lock to lock”.

This refers to the number of rotations needed to extend the cable from its retracted state.

Check the cables for any stiffness or binding.

If there is any dirt or crud on the steering rams clean it off.

Inspect the hydraulic steering for sponginess or air pockets.


For long belt life, proper pulley alignment and tension are vital.

Poor alignment and any form of tension can easily destroy your belt and cause major equipment failure.

Check the belts by pressing between the pulleys.

When you do so, they shouldn’t spring together easily and once you release them, they should spring back immediately.

Also inspect for brittleness, cracks, dry rot or any form of wear and do the necessary maintenance.

How To Maintain Your Inboard Boats – Summary

For a durable, easy-to-use dock and safe boat experience you should always maintain your inboard boats.


  • Flushing the engine.
  • Cleaning the engine.
  • Oil changing.
  • Inspection (propeller, fluid levels, steering, belt)

Use the tips given above in the article and you will be good to go!


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igor desperatesailors

Hi, I’m Igor, Skipper of S/Y "The Hooker". A decade ago, I conquered my childhood dream: to be a sailing skipper, own a sailing yacht. Yes, it knocked dullness out of my urban life — Read more →

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