How To Remove An Inboard Engine From A Boat (12 Easy Steps)

If you find yourself with a broken outboard or inboard boat engine, it’s important to know the right tools and equipment for performing repairs.

Sometimes removal is necessary so that we can make adjustments without putting our hands near moving parts like fan belts and pulleys.

Which could cause injury if not done properly. When removing an engine from its mounting point onboard ships/boats, several steps are involved.

But nothing too difficult. Here is a step by step by guide on how to remove an inboard engine from a boat.

How to Remove an Inboard Engine from a Boat

Steps Involve In Removing an Inboard Engine from a Boat

1-Disconnect the Propeller

To remove an inboard engine, disconnecting the propeller would be one of the first things to do. To separate the propeller from the crankshaft, find and remove all bolts that are holding it together.

Make sure that any wire cables attached to the propeller are removed as well before removing them.

2-Remove Intake Manifold

The intake manifold should be removed next, so clear out any lines or hoses attached to it. Finally, if the boat is equipped with a raw water cooling system.

Unclog faucets or valves so water can drain completely after removing this part of your engine.

3-Drain Fluids Inside Engine

First, drain petrol (gasoline), oil, and any other fluids inside the engine. It will prevent them from spilling out when lifting the engine to a safe height or after pulling it out of its mounting.

4-Drain Fluids Outside Engine

Next, drain all fluids from outside the engine. The best method for this is to insert a hose into each fluid reservoir and have someone start your boat’s motor.

So that the fluids empty into an appropriate container. Alternatively, you can siphon out these fluids using a tube attached to a low-pressure area within your boat by starting up your boat’s primary pumps (usually meaning those on the lower unit transmissions).

5-Make Sure everything is Secured

Make sure everything is secured down correctly before removing the screws holding the engine in place.

Before you attempt to remove screws or nuts holding your engine in place, make sure everything is secured down correctly.

There should be no loose parts such as wiring wires and hoses so that they do not get ripped out during this process.

6-Use a Block and Tackle to Lift Engine from Boat

Once you have disconnected the propeller and all fluids have been drained completely, you can then put your boat onto dry land and remove the screws or nuts that hold the engine in place.

Again, using a block and tackle will help immensely since it will provide enough mechanical advantage for you to raise your engine’s weight easily. A motor hoist would also work fine if one is available.

7-Lifted off Engine, Rest  Against the Stand

After raising the weight of your engine sufficiently high, you can then rest it against a stand. Make sure that the stand is sturdy enough to support the weight of your engine before settling it in place.

8-Lower Engine onto its Stand

Lower the boat engine down onto its stand so that it is stable in position before moving on to disassemble or clean any other parts.

It will prevent unnecessary damage from occurring due to overbalancing when working with parts held by only one side of your engine.

9-Perform Final Prep Work for Removal

After everything has been lifted off safely and placed in its proper location, you are now ready to remove parts being held by either hardware pads or adhesive material used during assembly.

For these types of components, you can use bolt cutters or a hacksaw to make removal easier.

10-Assess any Additional Symptoms Caused by Removing Engine

After removing your boat’s inboard engine, you should assess for symptoms that may indicate damage due to the process.

Once symptoms are established, you must determine if they require immediate attention or follow-up with your mechanic.

11-Reinstallation will be Simply Reversing Steps Above this Point

Reinstalling your inboard boat engine is simply reversing the same steps listed above in reverse order. Suppose you wish to reinstall your engine without performing further troubleshooting.

In that case, you will only need the following: motor hoist (optional), new hardware pads/adhesive material, screwdrivers, and socket wrenches.

And some potential replacement components that may have been damaged during removal.

12-Replace Boat Engine Back into its Regular Mounting Location

Once your inboard boat engine has been reinstalled, you can now place it back into its original mounting location to complete the process.

Suppose for any reason this mounting location no longer works or is no longer properly supported by other parts.

In that case, you will need to reposition the entire assembly until it rests undisturbed over a sturdy support surface.

Once everything is properly fastened down securely, you are ready to test out your new installation and enjoy all of the benefits of your newly replaced motor.

How much does it Cost to Remove a Boat Engine

The cost of removing the engine will depend on whether the boat is in water or on land. If it’s afloat, the price may also vary depending on how deep it sits in the water.

Onshore removal can be done for between $100-300; doing it at home by yourself might take around four hours.

If this is not something that sounds appealing to you, call someone who removes engines professionally (boatyards are good places to start) for between $200-400/hr (although this will also depend on where you are – if it’s in a more populated, accessible marina the price may be higher).

It is one of the most important steps when selling your boat. First impressions are everything. The last thing you want to do is get someone interested in buying your boat.

Only to have them walk away because they see an engine that doesn’t look very appealing. If you are not up for doing it yourself, hiring professionals can ensure that this step goes smoothly.

How long does it take to remove the Inboard Engine of a Boat?

It could depend on factors affecting the engine or outdrive that you are using. Factors that may affect your decision whether or not to try and tackle this job yourself could include: cost, time, if the warranty is still active, personal preference, etc.

If you are not equipped with all the knowledge needed about your particular situation, then it is best to contact a professional.

A typical answer would be approximately one to two days for removal of an inboard engine from a boat depending upon how easy (or difficult) it is to access the unit and if there are any complications due to alignment, damaged parts, etc.

These estimates do not include any time needed for the reassembly or reinstallation of the motor.
If you are not equipped with all the knowledge needed about your particular situation, then it is best to contact a professional.

Safety Measures to Take While Removing Engine

An inboard engine refers to an engine that is located inside the hull of a boat. These engines are often more complex than other types as they need to protect themselves from water damage.

Thus complicating their removal process. Fortunately, you can take safety precautions and steps to reduce accidents and injuries during this process.

1. Make sure that the propeller has been detached.

2. Put safety goggles on while removing the engine to prevent dirt, oil, and water from getting into your eyes.

3. Make sure that all fuel lines have been properly drained of any gasoline or diesel. If you are unsure, consult with an expert before beginning this process.

4. Use a torque wrench and socket to properly fasten and unfasten the bolts that hold the engine in place.

5. Make sure that you have removed all electrical wires before beginning this process, as these can be very dangerous if not done correctly.

6. After removing an inboard boat motor, clean up any leftover traces.

7. Remember to keep a safe distance from the boat motor as you remove it, with at least ten feet between yourself and any nearby water source.

8. There are many options available for someone looking to dispose of an inboard engine. Consult with local recycling centers about their specific recycling processes before taking action on your own.


The inboard engine is the heart of any boat. It generates power, moves the vessel around, and provides a feeling of control over your environment.

When you are ready to get rid of an old or broken-down motor, it’s important to have some knowledge about how they work before taking them apart yourself.

Here are four steps for removing an inboard engine from a boat safely so that you can save money on labor costs.

We hope this article has been useful in informing you about how to remove an inboard engine from a boat and much more about it.

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