Maintaining a boat is very similar to taking care of a car. Maintaining your boat’s condition isn’t difficult but it is a matter of consistency and dedication. Just like a car, it will require specific types of maintenance at certain intervals, and also after use.
Check out this checklist for boat maintenance, easy guidelines for maintenance of your boat, and tips on scheduling a servicing.
Boat Maintenance Checklist
When you buy a boat you must think about having an action plan for maintaining it. Take inventory of your current capabilities and knowledge. What kind of service are you already proficient to perform, and what services you should seek help from a professional?
For boat maintenance, it is important to:
- Check the battery charge
- Test your electronics
- Check your fishing rod holders, and replace them if necessary
- Test your lights
- Check the level of fluids, including power steering and coolant
- Change the oil
- Inspect the propeller
- Inspect the tank for leaks, fuel lines, and engines for leaks, corrosion, or cracks
- Make sure the railing is secure
- Ensure that you are wearing all the necessary safety gear
- Check for belts and other engine components
- Get your boat detailed
Easy methods to maintain a boat
Wash and wax
One of the easiest methods to increase the efficiency of your boat is to ensure that the fiberglass hull is fresh and well-lubricated. The gel coating that covers fiberglass is chalky when it’s not regularly waxed. It may also be beneficial to wash off the previous layer prior to applying a fresh layer of wax. In contrast to cars, boats don’t have clear coats so correct waxing is essential to the longevity of your watercraft.
Without a sealant made of wax to safeguard your boat, it will get oxidized quickly and cost more to fix than it would have properly waxed in at the beginning. Cleaning your boat outside and inside will help prevent any build-up of mold. Mold can be insidious and it’s better to clean your boat often than try to contain the spread of mold. Beware of cleaning yourself with harsh chemicals in your boat since they could ruin the gel coating. Cleaning your boat at least once or twice per year will not only keep your boat looking stunning as well as ensure it’s functioning properly.
Wipe Off Your Boat
After a wonderful day enjoying the ocean, take a towel to dry the boat clean. Leaks of moisture can contribute to mold growth, mildew growth, corrosion, stains, and other issues. Drying off any excess water will make your boat last longer. Lifejackets rope water toys, and other things that are susceptible to moisture or retention should be removed from the boat, dried, and stored in an air-tight storage container following use.
Check Metal Parts for Corrosion
Anything that has metal parts exposed in the boat can cause corrosion and rust. Examine the metal components regularly for signs of corrosion, and dry them as quickly as you can. The engine of your boat needs to be checked for corrosion. To prevent corrosion as well as other engine problems you must regularly flush your engine.
Regular Oil Changes
See the manual for the details on the frequency you should alter your oil. It is generally recommended that you change the oil at least once every 100 hours. Quicky-lube shops for boats and watercraft do not exist therefore, you need to bring your boat to a certified specialist or dealership with an authorized service center.
Check Your Propeller
Do not neglect to thoroughly inspect your propeller. Many issues could occur with your propeller. Therefore, you should remove it regularly throughout the boating season and examine it. It’s fine to have scratches or damaged paint, however significant dents, or signs that impact have occurred should be handled by an expert. If not, it could lead to a loss of performance and higher consumption of fuel. It is also an excellent opportunity to determine if your water intake is clean of debris.
An issue that is common is that the fishing line could end up wrapping around the propeller. If this occurs it is recommended that you ask the dealership to examine your gearcase to make sure there haven’t been any leaks. Service to your gearcase must be carried out by a qualified professional. After inspecting your propeller, you should apply water-proof grease and install it in the same way you removed it.
Remove Your Battery in the Off-Season
Batteries don’t last for long, but you can prolong the life of your battery by getting rid of it during the off-season, while your boat is stored. Cleaning it up, charging it, and storing it somewhere where it won’t be easily affected by temperature fluctuations and the elements.
Taking A Boat in for Maintenance
The boat should be brought to be serviced prior to the time the boating season begins as well as for maintenance when scenarios arise such as the prop being damaged or engine corrosion, or even the need for an oil replacement. When you take your boat into the shop for winterization or spring maintenance. You should make a call ahead of time and plan to be in by early.