Change Fuel Filters Regularly
If you've decided it is time to change or clean the fuel filter, there are a couple of basic types which are all easily serviced or replaced. Most motors utilize some form of an inline filter either between the fuel tank and pump or between the pump and carburetor(s) or fuel injection vapor separator tank.
Some inline filters are solid metal or clear plastic housings which are clamped in the middle of two fuel supply hoses. This style is easily removed and replaced by undoing the clamps and carefully pulling the hoses free of the filter inlet and outlet nipples.
Other inline filters consist of a 2 piece plastic or metal housing where a fuel filter bowl can be removed from a filter cap. The bowl often threads into position or is secured by a knurled knob which can be loosened by hand in order to remove the bowl. Inside the bowl or cap of this style filter you'll find a removable filter screen. If the screen is not damaged it can be rinsed in solvent and air dried (or VERY carefully blown dry using low-pressure compressed air). When in doubt, this type of filter screen is easily and inexpensively replaced.
Before checking the fuel pump, make sure you've got clean fuel filter/water separators. Finally, many boats and some motors are rigged using a disposable spin-on fuel filter or fuel filter and water separator. These filters resemble automotive oil filters and are removed or installed in exactly the same fashion. Often you'll want a strap or cap wrench for removal, as they tend to get stuck in place after a season's use. Once unthreaded, you'll normally find a small rubber gasket which again looks just like the gasket on an oil filter. Before installing a replacement spin-on fuel filter, be sure to lubricate the rubber gasket with a small dab of engine oil (again, just like with a spin-on oil filter) to ensure a good seal and to help make sure the filter comes off with ease next time you need to replace it.
iboats.com carries an extensive line of fuel filters and water separators.