Maintaining the boat is similar to taking care of an automobile. Maintaining your boat isn’t difficult but it takes commitment and consistency. Like a car the boat needs certain kinds of maintenance at certain milestones and after use.
Read on for a checklist for boat maintenance, easy tips for boat maintenance, and the best way to schedule servicing.
Boat Maintenance Checklist
When you buy a boat you must think about having an action plan for maintaining it. Be aware of your current experience and skills. What type of work do you already know how to accomplish, and what services do you need assistance from a professional?
If you want to keep your boat in good condition, it is recommended to:
- Check the battery charge
- Test your electronics
- Test your lights
- Check the level of fluids, like power steering and coolant
- Change the oil
- Check the propeller
- Examine the gas tank as well as the fuel lines and engines to look for leaks, corrosion, or cracks
- Check that railing is safe
- Make sure that you’ve got all the necessary safety gear
- Check the belts and other engine components
- Get your boat detailed
How to keep a boat in good shape
Wash and wax
One of the simplest ways to improve the performance of your yacht is to keep the fiberglass hull free of dirt and well-lubricated. The gel coating that covers fiberglass is chalky when it’s not waxed regularly. It is also helpful to dewax the previous coating before applying a new coat of wax. In contrast to cars, boats don’t have clear coats, so regular waxing is crucial to the longevity of your watercraft. Without a wax sealant in place to protect your boat, it could become oxidized and cost more to repair than get it properly waxed up on the front.
Keeping your boat clean both inside and outside will avoid the growth of mold. Mold can be insidious and it’s better to clean your boat often than try to control the spread of mold. Be careful about using harsh chemicals to clean your boat because they could wear down the coating of gel. Detailing once or twice a year is not just a way to keep your boat looking amazing and clean, but also make sure it’s operating properly.
Wipe Off Your Boat
After a fun day on the water, grab a towel to dry your boat clean. Moisture that is left on the boat can cause mold growth, mildew growth, corrosion, stains, and many other problems. Drying off any excess moisture can help your boat last longer. Lifejackets, ropes water toys, as well as other items susceptible to moisture or retention, must be removed from the vessel, dried off, and put in dry boat storage boxes after use.
Check Metal Parts for Corrosion
Any piece of metal that is exposed from your boat may get corroded and become rusty. Check the metal attachments often for signs of corrosion, and dry them when you can. Your boat engine should also be inspected for signs of corrosion. To prevent corrosion as well as other engine issues, you should regularly flush your engine.
Regular Oil Changes
Read the instruction manual to find out how often you have to replace your engine. In general, you should change the oil around every 100 running hours. Quickly-lube shops for boats and watercraft don’t really exist which is why you must make sure you take your boat to a certified expert or a dealership with an authorized service center.
Check Your Propeller
Never skip thoroughly checking your propeller. There is a myriad of problems that can come up with your propeller, so you need to remove it often throughout the season of boating and check it. It’s normal to get scratches or missing paint, but any large dents or indications of impact must be dealt with by an experienced professional. In the absence of professional help, it can result in a loss of efficiency and additional fuel consumption.
This is also a great chance to make sure that your water intake is clear of any debris. A common problem is that the fishing line may end up being wrapped around your propeller. If this happens it is recommended that you ask your dealer to examine your gearcase and ensure that there haven’t been any leaks. Maintenance of the gearcase should be handled by a skilled professional. After examining your propeller you must add waterproof grease and then install the propeller in exactly the same order you removed it.
Remove Your Battery in the Off-Season
Batteries don’t last for eternity, but you can extend the lifespan of your battery by removing it during the off-season, while the boat is stored. Clean it, charge it, and store it in an area that isn’t easily altered by temperature changes or the elements.
Taking A Boat in for Maintenance
The boat should be brought to the service center prior to the starting of the boating season and for maintenance when certain situations occur, like damaged props corrosion in the engine, or an oil exchange. If you take your boat into the shop for winterization, or spring service You should make a call beforehand and plan to get in early.