Flush your outboard with freshwater after every use
This is especially important if you go boating in saltwater, but is a good practice even after use in freshwater lakes and rivers. A 10-minute flush from your garden hose will wash away particulate matter, mineral deposits, and other contaminants, and help keep your engine’s cooling system clean and corrosion-free. Bayliner boats are factory-rigged with Mercury outboards, so watch this Flushing an Outboard Motor video from Mercury to see how it’s done.
Follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance plan to a T
It’s absolutely critical to have the outboard’s powerhead and lower unit oils, filters, and spark plugs changed and/or inspected at the scheduled maintenance intervals. The water pump impeller also needs periodic inspection and eventually, replacement. Fortunately, your dealership can perform these tasks quickly, and in most cases, you won’t need to bring your boat in for service more than once a year. Specific maintenance schedules will vary from outboard to outboard, but generally call for service in yearly or 100-hour increments, whichever comes first. Since the average boater puts between 50 and 75 hours of operation on an engine annually, that means most of us can take the boat in for service once a year during the off-season to have that regularly scheduled maintenance performed.