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The Importance of Flushing Your Boat’s Motor

If you’re like most boating aficionados, you typically wash your boat after returning to the dock from a day out on the water. But what about your boat’s motor? Did you take the time to flush it with freshwater as part of the post-boating maintenance process? If you still have the manual that came with your outboard motor, we’d be willing to bet that there is a section in there that recommends doing this after every saltwater excursion.

3 Ways to flush Your Motor

Without regular flushing, your boat motor can get gummed up and hinder its operation or potentially harm the internal components. Saltwater can be extremely corrosive, cause erosion, and result in a ton of expensive repair issues if not thoroughly flushed out of your motor. The 3 primary ways of flushing your motor include:

  • The “coastal flush” method – a hose is attached to the flush port and the water is gravity fed through the motor while it isn’t running.

  • Using a flush bag – with this method, a bag filled with water sits underneath the motor. Start the motor and let it idle so it draws water through the system as it normally would while on the water.

  • Using a muff – this device fits over the lower water intake while the motor is idling.

Remember, the key to maintaining your motor if you are using it in saltwater, is to always flush it with freshwater after returning to the dock – not just occasionally but every time. Never start your boat’s motor without a water supply. Once you’ve finished flushing your motor, make sure that all of the freshwater has been drained out of it.

2 primary Benefits of flushing Your Motor

You can ensure that your motor is always operating at optimal levels by flushing it each time you use it in saltwater. If there is unwanted residue remaining in your motor, it can block the flow of cool water and affect your boat’s overall performance. Flushing the motor will remove this residue and keep its cooling passages unobstructed. Flushing your motor eliminates the accumulation of scale as well. Even the smallest scale particles can adhere to each other and create larger deposits that eventually lead to blockages. This will cause your motor to work harder and lead to internal damage. Thus, taking all precautions becomes important.

If you need more information about flushing your boat’s motor or any other boating issues, contact Miami Marina today at (305) 892-2628. Or if you prefer, you can send us a message at We are here to help you with your boat’s maintenance and repair. If you need any assistance, call us!

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