Whether you’ve been a boat owner for years or just got your hands on one, there’s a fair chance that at some point you’ll need to learn how to remove an outboard motor from a boat. It might seem like a daunting task, but fear not! It’s not as complicated as it appears. This article is here to guide you step by step, making sure your marine adventures are never halted. So, buckle up and get ready to set sail on a voyage of useful information!

How To Remove An Outboard Motor From A Boat?

So, you’ve decided it’s time to take that motor off. You’ve got your tools in hand, but you’re staring at the boat, wondering where to start. Worry no more! Here’s your detailed guide to removing an outboard motor from a boat.

Understanding Your Boat and Its Motor

Before you dive in, it’s essential to get a clear picture of what you’re dealing with. Boats and their motors come in all shapes and sizes. So, familiarize yourself with the make and model of your boat, its motor, and the motor’s mounting system. Knowing these details will ensure a smoother operation and help avoid potential damages.

Preparing for the Job

Before you begin, gather all necessary tools. Typically, you would need a wrench, pliers, screwdrivers, and a hoist or engine lift. Also, remember safety is paramount; so, ensure you’re wearing proper safety gear – safety goggles, gloves, and non-slip shoes.

Disconnecting the Motor

The first step to remove the motor is disconnecting it from the boat. This means you’ll have to disconnect the fuel lines, the throttle cables, the shift cables, and the battery cables. Be gentle and careful to avoid damaging any components.

Lifting the Motor

Once disconnected, it’s time to lift the motor off the boat. This is where your engine hoist comes in handy. Attach the hoist and lift the motor away gently, making sure not to jerk or drop it.

Properly Storing the Removed Motor

After the motor is removed, it needs to be stored properly to prevent damage. Always store it in an upright position, cover it to protect from dust and moisture, and ensure it’s not exposed to extreme temperature variations.

Common Issues During Outboard Motor Removal

Like with any mechanical task, you might run into a few bumps along the way when removing your outboard motor. Let’s look at some common issues and how to tackle them.

Stuck Bolts and Screws

Bolts and screws can get stuck due to rust or long-term exposure to harsh weather conditions. Use penetrating oil or rust remover to loosen them. If they still refuse to budge, consider replacing them to avoid future issues.

Damaged Fuel Lines and Cables

Fuel lines and cables can get worn out or damaged over time. It’s vital to inspect them while removing the motor. If you notice any damages, it’s best to replace them before reinstalling the motor.

Heavy Motor

Outboard motors can be quite heavy, making them challenging to handle. Always use an engine hoist or a similar tool to lift the motor. Never attempt to lift it manually to avoid personal injury or damaging the motor.

Maintenance and Care of an Outboard Motor Post-Removal

Once you’ve successfully removed your outboard motor, it’s essential to maintain and care for it properly. This will extend its lifespan and ensure its optimal performance when reinstalled.

Cleaning the Motor

Cleaning your outboard motor is a must after removal. It’s an excellent opportunity to remove any dirt, grease, or salt deposits that might have built up over time. Use appropriate cleaning solutions and tools, being careful not to damage any parts.

Inspection and Repair

Removing the motor is a perfect time to inspect it thoroughly. Look for any signs of wear and tear, corrosion, or damage. Make any necessary repairs or replacements.

Regular Maintenance

Even when removed, your motor requires regular maintenance. This includes oil changes, spark plug replacement, and fuel system cleaning. Also, ensure to run the motor at least once every few months to prevent it from seizing up.

Also, Read: How to Charge Trolling Motor Batteries While on Lake?


Q: Do I need a professional to remove my outboard motor?

A: While it’s possible to remove an outboard motor yourself with the right tools and knowledge, hiring a professional is always a safer bet. They have the expertise and experience to handle the job efficiently and prevent potential damages.

Q: How often should I remove my outboard motor?

A: The frequency of motor removal depends on factors such as the motor’s usage, the conditions it operates in, and its age. Generally, a complete removal for maintenance should be done at least once every few years.

Q: Can I store my outboard motor horizontally after removal?

A: No, it’s best to store an outboard motor vertically. Horizontal storage can lead to oil leakage or damage to internal components.

Q: How can I prevent my outboard motor from corroding?

A: Regular cleaning, using anti-corrosion sprays, and proper storage can help prevent your outboard motor from corroding.

Q: What’s the best way to lift a heavy outboard motor?

A: The safest way to lift a heavy outboard motor is using an engine hoist or lift. Always prioritize safety when handling heavy equipment.

Q: Can I run my outboard motor out of water?

A: Running an outboard motor out of water, even for a short while, can cause serious damage. Always ensure it’s properly submerged in water when running.


Learning how to remove an outboard motor from a boat doesn’t have to be a tough task. With the right tools, some patience, and a bit of elbow grease, you can handle this job like a pro. Always remember to prioritize safety and handle the motor with care. Now you’re equipped to embark on this marine adventure!

Anthoni Ja
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