Boat Maintenance 101: How to Properly Care for Your Boat

The recreational boating industry boasts of having a total of 17 million boats.  With the industry bringing in more than $170 billion in revenues annually, boating is seemingly becoming a mainstream pastime. What will you be up to next summer?

Well, for more than 17 million Americans, pleasure boating will be at the top of their to-do list. If you’re a new boater or you’ve owned a boat for a while, summer comes with a whole load of excitement.

boat maintenance

But before you set sails, there’re critical boat maintenance tips you ought to consider. 

You can’t afford to have a boat breakdown at the peak of the summer season, consider these boat maintenance tips to ensure that your boat remains in tip-top conditions. 

Why Does Your Boat Need Special Care?

A critical part of boat ownership involves repairs and maintenance. During summers, boats often endure wear and tear. If you aren’t careful about the level of attention you extend to your boat, it won’t serve you for long. 

Further, most boat owners often store away their boats after the long summer cruises without any maintenance, thus exposing the boat’s exterior to corrosion and rust. 

Are you keen on saving on the actual cost of owning a boat? Well, you should start by scheduling routine maintenance for your boat.

Such schedules allow you to have a boating checklist, which you can use to ensure full-body maintenance of your boat.  So how can you ensure that you prioritize your boat’s maintenance?

1. Wash Your Boat as Often as Possible

The irony of boating is that while boats are in the water most of the time, they still require a thorough wash-up. Don’t assume that boats can undergo self-cleaning just because they are in the deep sea for most of the time. Your boat is susceptible to the effects of corrosion due to salty water.

If you keep cruising without setting time to clean your boat thoroughly, you may end up grappling with corrosion. Even when sailing on freshwaters, your boat’s surface is still exposed to living organisms such as algae. Such externalities may eventually eat into your boat’s coating and cause damage to your boat’s outer body.

For you to protect your boat from such concerns, you need to schedule frequent cleanups where you spray your boat thoroughly. You should also scrub all the non-skid surfaces and use gel coats to clean the surfaces that are made of fiberglass.

Don’t wait until your boat’s railings and hinges begin to corrode for you to take action. This article provides all the answers on how to fight corrosion on your boat and avoid dealing with more weighty problems.  

2. Pay Attention to Your Boat’s Engine 

Are you keen on ensuring that your boat lives up to its projected lifespan? Then you can’t overlook the need to provide a constant assessment of your boat’s engine. Your boat will not always run smoothly each time you head out for sails.

No one anticipates such sudden engine issues while on the sail. But such cases are not only frustrating but also frightening. Your boat needs as much attention when it comes to engine care as your car. 

Some of the things you would not consider to be necessary, such as oil change, actually matter when operating a boat. The bad news is that your failure to undertake constant fuel checks may be the beginning of your engine’s problems.

But the good news is that oil change can be an easy DIY process with the right tools. But if you’re unfamiliar with the process, it would help to call in experts. However, you must ensure that you keep a well-defined schedule for constant engine maintenance if you wish to have your boat in functional order for longer.  

For most boats, an oil change should be as frequent as after every 100 hours of service. This ensures that your engine is running smoothly at all times.  

3. Keep Track of Your Battery’s Performance 

Ensure that you keep your battery charger close to you each time you head out to sail. Take note that most marine batteries can’t function well beyond 20% of dischargeable battery life. Beyond the 20% mark, your battery is no longer rechargeable.

If you live in areas with icy weather, you should be keener on your battery’s performance. You ought to always ensure that your battery has adequate charge at all times. A depleted battery can quickly render your boat useless.

Such information is crucial because you need to ensure speedy replacement of such batteries before reaching extreme thresholds. Remember that your battery is at the heart of your boat engine’s operations. You should practice safe usage to ensure maximum utilization of the cell.

4. Assess the Wiring as Part of Your Boat Maintenance Schedule  

Sometimes, a simple short wire can lead to multiple mechanical failures. How often do you schedule for wiring as part of your boat maintenance? Well, your wiring may be the last thing you consider but may also have immense implications on the functionality of your boat.

Check the electrical components to ensure that they are free from rust. You should also ensure that wires that are experiencing wear and tear are insulated to reduce the risk of short-circuiting. Before you head out to sail this summer, check to ensure that your wiring is done correctly.  

5. Manage Your Fuel Consumption

Over and above, make sure you have enough fuel for the boat. You may also need to be aware of the fuel types that work best for your boat. You should ensure that your fuel tank is filled to prevent the risk of moisture gaining entrance.

For most modern boats, there may be a need to have certain additives to ensure the optimum functionality of the car. Such dynamics are critical to consider before fueling. You may also need a fuel stabilizer to ensure you’re on top of the fueling process.

Summer Is For Fun, Don’t Let Your Boat Limit You 

Now that you understand the dynamics around boat maintenance, you need to consider scheduling constant assessment of the critical features within your boat. Nothing can be more frustrating than missing out on the summer festivities just because of technical faults you could have remedied beforehand.

You only need to source for the services of a seasoned boat services provider, and you’ll be good to go.

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