Outboard Maintenance and Repair

Doing outboard motor repair and maintenance is another way RVers can earn some money. We are currently staying at a destination RV park in southern Texas. The park is on a canal with fishing available from the piers and shore. There's also a boat ramp, and boat slips. There are a lot of fishermen here. Lots of the guys have boats and motors.

Boat Motor Maintenance and Repairs

Some people are comfortable doing their own outboard repairs and maintenance. Others only have work done by authorized dealers. But, there are many people who would love to have another RVer do the small repairs and routine maintenance. They need someone who can do basic work on boats and outboard motors: tune-ups, lower unit replacement, clean water out of the fuel system and carburetor, change the oil in the lower unit, or replace the impeller in the water pump.

Boats with Outboards at the RV ParkBoats at the RV Park Mean Outboards May Need Work

Having the work done by another RVer who is staying at the RV park has advantages. There's no need to trailer it to the dealer. There's no driving across town to drop it off, and then going back to pick it up. There may be less wait time. The cost is likely less than the dealership full-shop rates.

If you have the knowledge, skills, and some tools, doing outboard motor repair and maintenance can be another way to earn while you travel.

Johnson, Mercury, and Evinrude OutboardsJohnson, Mercury, and Evinrude Outboards on RVer's Boats

To find business, let people know you are available. Post a notice on the park bulletin board. Hang around the boat dock talking with people. If you have your own motor, work on it where people can see what you are doing. Take part in park social activities and, when appropriate, bring your work up in the conversation.

Word of mouth advertising is powerful. After your first job, the word will spread. If your work is good and your price is satisfactory, word of mouth will keep the customers coming.

If you are willing to go outside the park, advertise outside the park. Post notices on bulletin boards at local grocery stores and other public places. Talk to the folks at the bait and tackle shops and marinas.

Evinrude Outboard on BoatThe Boat Slips Are Filled with the Boats Belonging to Fellow RVers

Like cars, outboard motors are getting computerized and more complicated every day. Size up the job, and take on work you can handle. Familiarize yourself with the repair facilities in the area, and refer jobs you are unable to do to places that can. Many times, people will then consider you the “go to” person for advice on their boat motor, giving you first chance, before taking the work elsewhere.

With a few tools and a little knowledge, you can meet new friends, provide a needed service, and make some money doing outboard motor maintenance and repair work.


Coleen's comments: My husband, Bob Nilles, wrote this article about doing outboard motor repair and maintenance. He does most of our maintenance and, when something needs fixing, he can usually fix it. Besides working on our motorhome and other vehicles, he also does the maintenance and repair work on the assorted small engines we have, including our outboard motor.

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