One of the biggest questions we get is: How often should I service my engine?
I think we can thank the auto industry for the complete lack of trust we have in the manufacturers recommended servicing points. For instance, we know that you can go much longer than 3k miles before needing and oil change, but with a boat it is a little different. They do not make boat engines to be as durable and as maintenance free as cars. There are a lot of components that need to be regularly looked at and changed that we simply don't have or need on a car. A full "100 hour service"/Annual service should be done at least 1 time a year. More often if you hit 100 hours before the year is up. The components that need to be changed are: Oil(if 4stroke), Oil Filter, Fuel Filter, Fuel Water Separator, Spark Plugs, Lower unit lube and impeller. Other items need to be spot checked like: Zincs, Thermostats, and steering/drive fluid.
Try to schedule to do your maintenance in the winter time as most shops are a little slower and can usually get your boat in and out and sometimes you can even get a better rate. Always request that they date your filters so that you can actually tell that they have been changed. Most good shops will do this anyways, but its a good easy way to make sure your items are actually being changed. Spend the little extra money and take it to a shop you trust to do the work correctly. We have seen plenty of fly by night guys that will cut corners and charge pennies on the dollar and its just not worth taking the risk that they do it right. Take it to the pros or do it yourself! There are some great videos on how to service your engine and with a little practice you can save yourself a lot of money year after year. Doing the service yourself is not overly complicated, the most important part is having the correct parts and right equipment.
If you need help finding a trusted place to service or find the right parts for your service, stop in, we are always happy to help.