With consistent maintenance, your boat can last for decades. Let’s look at some of the top boat maintenance tips to help you keep your boat in shape.
Inspect, Inspect, Inspect
Good maintenance starts with inspections. Don’t assume your boat is going to stay in great shape forever. Inspect every nook and cranny as often as possible so you know if any pumps stopped working, wires have become frayed, or mold is growing in a dark, hard-to-reach corner. By inspecting the boat regularly, you’ll be on top of any potential maintenance or repair issues.
Dry Interior After Every Use
To prevent mold growth, take a towel and wipe down the interior after every outing. This simple task will also help remove dirt, moisture, and grime, as well as reduce the chances of rust in your vessel.
Wash the Hull Regularly
Possibly the simplest task for boat maintenance, you should clean your boat regularly. If your boat is used in saltwater, be sure to rinse the hull thoroughly with fresh water. Salt can corrode your metal fasteners and other hardware, and can even harm your gelcoat, so wipe away the saltwater thoroughly after use.
Use Saltwater-Specific Cleaning Products
Cleaning your boat is simple, but it helps to have saltwater-specific products that will reduce the impacts of using your boat on the ocean. You can find cleaning products for saltwater boats at most marinas and boat shops.
Have the Oil Changed About Once Every 100 Hours
Just like your car, you need to change the oil in your boat regularly. Most motors need to have their oil changed about once every 100 hours of use, although this will change depending on the model and the engine.
Inspect, Clean, and Maintain the Bilge Pump
Of all the pumps in your boat, none is more important than the one in your bilge, which empties water from the bottom of the boat. Without a good bilge pump, you’re courting disaster, so make sure the bilge is cleaned regularly and inspect the screen or filter of the bilge to prevent clogging.
Take Off the Propeller and Clean the Shaft
The propeller sits firmly on a metal shaft, and this shaft can become wrapped in vegetation, fishing line, and general debris from use. About once or twice a season, take off the propeller and thoroughly clean the shaft of any debris, which can harm efficiency and performance and lead to long-term damage.
Pull the Battery and Use Fuel Stabilizers During the Off Season
Before the off season, you’ll need to prepare your boat for long months of non-use. Two important chores (among many) are to pull the batteries, clean them, and store them somewhere safe. You should also use fuel stabilizer to ensure quality performance for next year’s first boating adventure.
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