7 Boat Maintenance Tips To Keep You On The Water At All Times
There is nothing worse than planning a day or vacation out on your boat to find improper boat maintenance has led to issues occurring and put an end to your plans and chances are, with a large expense soon to come also!
To help prevent this heart ache, follow our top 7 boat maintenance tips to help keep keep enjoying your hobby on the water when ever you want and to extend the life of your boat.
1. Routine Inspection: Boats are fine tuned machines and you need to be active in all aspects of your boat's maintenance. So you need to always be on the look out for fraying ropes, loose fittings, grinding noises or anything that may be in need of repair or attention. A routine maintenance inspection either weekly, monthly or even for every outing, can prevent damage and repairs in the long run and keep you and your boat on the water longer.
2. Boat Battery: Just the same as any car, depending on the type of battery your boats uses, make sure all fittings are tight and clean, the battery is properly charged and is filled with the correct fluids
3. Electrical Maintenance: We're talking boats here and boats mean water. Electricity doesn’t like water and vice versa in many ways. Many boating failures occur due to corroded electrical systems. Be sure to keep all electrical wiring clean and dry. You can use spray water repellents, non-corrosive greases, and corrosion inhibitors to help prevent potential damage.
4. Cleaning and Protection: If you really want stay on top of your boat maintenance, one of the simplest ways is to keep your boat clean and to wash it regularly. This gives you not only a cleaner more pleasant environment, but it also helps prevent long term environmental wear and tear over time. Routines such as waxing and painting touch ups help protect your boat from the elements. So consider a routine cleaning schedule to keep things in tact.
5. Correct Boat Docking and Mooring: Commonly overlooked is proper boat mooring and docking. A very common way for your boat to acquire scratches and damage over time is poor docking. Make sure lines are secured tightly in place, coiled neatly, in good condition, and don’t show signs of wear. Plus make sure all boat fenders and buoys are in good condition and inflated if needed.
6. Motor Maintenance: No matter if your vessel has an inboard or outboard motor. Motor maintenance is one of the top priorities. Best practice is after every outing flush your engine and check everything from rust on the fuel line clamps to the fuel tanks themselves. Oil must always be the correct type and filled to the correct levels while also making sure all filters are clean and installed properly. Finally make sure the engine's cooling system is functioning properly.
7. Bilge Pump: Sometimes an overlooked aspect of your boat maintenance is the bilge pump. Let’s face it, there isn’t much worse that can happen than having your boat sink! In the event you need to use your bilge pump, not only do you want it to work, but you will want to make sure your battery has enough charge to run it for the good amount of time.
Now of course there are an abundance of finer points you can include when discussing boat maintenance. The best way to keep yourself in check with these is to create checklists, pre-departure, semi-annual, seasonal, etc. Your pre-departure check won’t be as detailed as your semi-annual but you will cover the major aspects to help keep your boat maintained and on the water when you need it.