The care and maintenance of an aquatic vessel are very like caring for cars. Maintaining your boat’s condition isn’t difficult, but it requires determination and perseverance. Similar to cars the boat needs certain kinds of maintenance at certain intervals, and also after use.
Check out this article for a checklist for maintenance on your boat, easy guidelines for maintenance of your boat, and the best way to schedule the time for maintenance.
Boat Maintenance Checklist
When you purchase a vessel, you should consider having a maintenance plan. Check your current capabilities and knowledge. What kinds of services are you already able to handle, and which services you should seek help from a professional?
If you want to keep your boat in good condition, you should:
- Test your electronics
- Test your lights
- Check for fluid levels like power steering and coolant
- Change the oil
- Inspect the propellor
- Check the gas tank, fuel lines, and the engines to check for corrosion, leaks, or cracks
- Check that the railings are safe
- Check if your boat door latch still works properly
- Ensure that you are wearing all the necessary safety gear
- Check belts and other engine components
- Get your boat detailed
Simple ways to maintain a boat
Wash and wax
One of the most effective methods to ensure the longevity of the boat you own is to ensure that the fiberglass hull is clear and well-lubricated. The coating of fiberglass will become chalky if waxed on a regular basis. It is also beneficial to dewax the previous coating prior to applying a new layer of wax. Unlike cars, boats lack clear coats so correct waxing is essential to the life expectancy of your boat. Without a sealant made of wax to protect your boat, it could become oxidized and cost more to fix than have it properly waxed up upfront.
Cleaning your boat from inside to out will stop any build-up of mold. The effects of mold can be pervasive and it’s best to wash your boat frequently than attempt to control the spread of mold. Beware of cleaning with harsh chemicals in your boat, as they may ruin the coating of the gel. Regularly cleaning your boat once or twice each year will not only ensure that your boat looks great it will also ensure that it’s working correctly.
Wipe Off Your Boat
After a successful day in the sea take the towel and dry the boat clean. The lingering moisture could cause the growth of mold, mildew corrosion, stains, and many other problems. Drying off any excess moisture will help your boat last longer. Lifejackets, ropes, towels water toys, and other objects that are prone to moisture or water retention should be removed from the vessel, dried off, and put into dry storage containers after use.
Check Metal Parts for Corrosion
Any metal component that is exposed to your boat is able to corrode and rust. Make sure to check the metal parts regularly to look for signs of rust and dry them as often as you can. The engine of your boat should be examined for corrosion. To prevent corrosion as well as other issues with your engine it is recommended to clean your engine.
Regular Oil Changes
Check the manual for when you’ll need to change your oil. In general, you should replace the oil approximately once every 100 hours. Fast-lube shops for boats as well as watercraft aren’t actually available and therefore you must take your boat to a certified expert or a dealership with an authorized service center.
Check Your Propeller
Be sure to check thoroughly your propeller. There is a myriad of problems that can arise from your propeller, so you need to remove it often throughout the boating season, and then inspect it. It’s fine to have scratches or damaged paint, however, any large dents or indications of impact must be dealt with by an experienced professional. If not, it could cause a loss of performance and increased fuel consumption. It is also an excellent opportunity to check if your water supply is free of any obstructions.
A common issue is fishing line could end up being wrapped around your propeller. If this occurs it is recommended that you ask your dealer to look over your gearcase and ensure that no leaks have been caused. Maintenance of the gearcase should be performed by a professional with experience. After inspecting your propeller, you should add water-proof grease and install the propeller in the exact sequence you removed it.
Remove Your Battery in the Off-Season
Batteries aren’t guaranteed to last forever, but you may prolong the life of your battery by removing it during the off-season, while your boat is stored. Take it apart, recharge it and then store it somewhere in a place that won’t be affected by changes in temperature and the elements.
Taking A Boat in for Maintenance
You should take your boat in for maintenance prior to the beginning of the boating season and for any maintenance needed when scenarios arise such as a dented prop, corrosion in the engine, or even changing the oil. When you take your boat to the shop for winterization, spring maintenance, or spring cleaning it is recommended to call beforehand and plan to get in early.