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Having been around a large number of charter boats over the past couple of years, and having had the opportunity to scan the photo listings of numerous boats for sale, I am convinced that I can get a good idea of the general state of a boat by simply viewing the cleanliness of the engine, and engine room.

This pic doesn’t really count though as the engine was replaced not too long ago.


  1. Remember a can of paint can make a well used engine look great.

  2. Personally I’d be a little leery of any boat that was used for charter, but certainly any boat used for bareboat charters. Call me a cynic but, in my experience, people treat rented (or borrowed) property with far less concern and care than they would their own.

    Sure, charter companies tend to perform maintenance more often…but a well maintained piece of abused equipment is still a piece of abused equipment.

  3. Are there any good websites you can recommend on how to best keep one’s engines looking pristine?

    • No, not really. Perhaps someone else can recommend something.

      Off the top of my head, my advice:

      1. Read the manual
      2. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule
      3. Check it daily
      4. Keep fluids fresh and topped up
      5. Keep hose clamps and fasteners tight
      6. Guard against chafe
      7. Deal with any issues promptly

      • Thanks Mike. What do you use to address minor rust on the engine? Do you have something to break down the rust (wire brush) and then do you use anything to inhibit future rust?

  4. Plus…
    * Batteries (corrosion AND have they tapped on non-fused stuff).
    * Bilge. Wet bilges breed mildew and dirty bilges clog pumps.

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