Four stroke outboard engine major maintenance should be done once a year or 100 hours whichever comes first. A complete engine service should include the following: 1) engine oil and filter change (use only manufacturers recommend lubricants). 2) Replace spark plugs. 3) Change engine fuel filter. 4) Replace water separator/fuel filter. 5) Grease all zerk fittings with marine grease. 6) Clean and oil steering shaft. 7) Remove propeller and check for any fishing line that may be wrapped on the shaft behind propeller. 8) Grease shaft with marine grease and reinstall propeller. 9) Drain lower unit oil and refill with manufacturers recommended lower unit oil. 10) Clean and wax engine top to bottom. This is what any good service department would do for your 100-hour service.
First, clean and remove any mildew from the vinyl upholstery on our boats. Once that is done, then treat the vinyl with either Meguiars 57 or 303. All gel coat and metal surfaces can be cleaned and polished with Meguiars Quick Detailer. This will make your boat shine like new.
There are many remedies for removing mildew from your vinyl upholstery. However, most of the cleaners do not do a complete removal. I have found the use of soft scrub with bleach will remove 99% of all mildew. It is very important to be very careful with this cleaner. First, clean all your vinyl with marine spray nine and a medium soft bristle brush. Then rinse with clean water. A spray bottle and towel will work. For any areas of mildew left, as an example, on the top of the backs of the seats, apply soft scrub generously over that area and just spread it around with the brush. DO NOT TO TRY TO DO ALL THE MILDEW AT ONE TIME. DO ONLY SMALL AREAS AT A TIME (2 TO 3 FEET). Let the application of soft scrub sit for 20-30 minutes, DO NOT LET IT DRY. Come back and apply more soft scrub on top of that and spread around with brush again. Let sit for another 20-30 minutes. Come back with your scrub brush and brush in circular motion over all the covered area. Do this procedure as many times as needed to remove all mildew. Wipe off all the soft scrub with a rag or paper towel. Take a spray bottle with water and rinse area and dry with a towel. Do this three times. If you have applied the soft scrub over any stitching, take the spray bottle and squirt the stitching where you applied soft Scrub. Dry with a towel, repeat this step three times. When totally dry, coat the vinyl with either Maguires 57 or 303 rubber and vinyl protectant. Under normal circumstances you should be able to reapply the protectant about every month and a half without having to scrub or clean the vinyl. I know this is complicated but it will remove the majority of any mildew. If you have any questions, thoughts or need help contact Jim Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-343- 9113. I am always willing to help.
Bimini top, backdrop and playpen covers should be cleaned and waterproofed every three to five years, depending on usage. Products used for this maintenance are 303 fabric cleaner and 303 fabric protector. Remove fabric from boat, lay it on a flat surface, and wet it down. Then apply 303 fabric cleaner and scrub with a soft car wash brush. Rinse with a hard spray from the hose, turn top over, and repeat the process. Let dry completely. Then put the outside of the covers facing up and coat heavily with 303 fabric protector. Your covers will look brand new and perform properly.
If you have canvas on your boat with snaps and they have come off or come apart, this is a simple repair you can do yourself. You can buy a kit to do this repair with snaps and tools from West Marine Overtons, or your local marine supplier, and you can replace those snaps very quickly for an easy repair.
It is possible to lose 300 to 400 RPM because of the drag created by dirty pontoons. Let’s give your pontoons a tune up. After putting your boat on the trailer, you will need the following to clean them properly: a pressure washer, a garden type sprayer, and an aluminum cleaner and brightener. The aluminum cleaner and brightener can be purchased at most marine stores. I mix from 10 to 14 ounces of cleaner per one gallon of water. Then wet the pontoons. I suggest you start on the inside of the pontoons first. Spray cleaner on one half of the length of the pontoon at a time. Let it sit for approximately 3-4 minutes and then rinse with pressure washer.
DO NOT LET THE CLEANER SOLUTION DRY ON THE PONTOONS!!
If necessary, spray some more solution to keep it wet. In order to get the best looking cleaning job, I recommend going over each area twice. This will help in removing streaks and added dirt. It is imperative to rinse twice with your pressure washer to make sure that all of the cleaning solution has been removed. Complete the cleaning of the inside of the pontoons then do the outside of the pontoons in the same manner.
This will result in a clean looking and efficient pontoon. Also don’t forget to do the inside of your motor pod.