Selling your boat? 10 tips for overhauling your boat’s engine.

It gets difficult to spend money and work on a boat when you plan to sell it. When you are busy with a million other things, and you just want to move on, it tempts you to overlook dirt, flaws, and maintenance issues. But realization won’t hit you until you look at it from the buyer’s perspective and seriously consider what you’re trying to ignore.

A used engine will never look the same as a brand-new one, but spending a little time with cleaners and rags can often get you pretty close. The condition of your boat’s paint, bottom, and accommodation is important, but smart buyers will notice it as much, if not more, on the condition of the engine or engines.

The way you’ve treated the engine of your boat will tell the buyer a lot about how you’ve cared for the whole boat. So, unless you’ve had your boat’s engine professionally maintained all along, and yourself have cared for it between visits to the mechanic, now is the time to fix things up so that any potential buyer can be easily impressed. Whether your engine is an inboard gas-burner, outboard, diesel, or an inboard stern-drive, this checklist will tell you what steps to take in order to get your engine in mint condition.

  1. Change the engine oil and filter. When putting the boat on sale, the oil should be golden in color, not brown or black.
  2. Make sure that the belts are in a decent condition and at the proper tension. No cracks or dust should be there and if there are, change them!
  3. Install fresh zinc anodes in the engine and on the running gear.
  4. If the air filter is clogged or discolored, replace it with a new one.
  5. Replace the fuel filters with new ones.
  6. Clean up the cooling system and change the impellers if necessary.
  7. Locate and repair any fluid leaks that could have occurred.
  8. Carefully wipe all the parts and mechanicals of the engine with the help of an engine cleaner, rags, and Q-tip swabs.
  9. Make sure to remove any peeled paint, rust or touch up cracking that might have occurred inside the engine unit.
  10. Be very careful while cleaning the engine pan and bilge and make sure to leave them spotless and dry.

For numerous boats, carrying out all these chores will take a couple of hours, and would cost at most a few hundred dollars. The payoff of these few hundred bucks would be good when your boat will get sold on time and the buyer will pay you a pretty fair price for it. When your potential buyers step aboard to take a look around and do a complete survey of your boat, you’ll know that your engine looks good and not just by the looks, but the running is also good. The maintenance log of the boat will add credibility and leave the buyer impressed on how you have maintained your boat.