Guide to Boat Maintenance

After a long day in the water, the last thing you probably want to do is boat maintenance. However, if you want your boat to run smoothly and safely, you have to give it a bit of love and care. With proper boat care, your boat will last a long time and provide you with many memories, whether you go boating on lakes, rivers, or seas. Therefore, let’s see what kind of maintenance does a boat need.

Ways to Maintain Your Marine Boat

cleaning-a-boats-exterior
Source: discoverboating.com

Generally, boat maintenance involves keeping the boat clean, lubricated and protected. Just as you wouldn’t drive your car without engine oil, you also wouldn’t want to ride your boat without proper fluid levels. Similarly, you probably know that debris and weather can damage your car’s exterior over time, and the same principles apply to boats as well.

So, in order to help you keep your marine boat sparkling and in great shape, here are some tips on how to clean it, maintain it and properly store it.

Clean the Exterior

There are several reasons why it’s very important to keep your boat exterior clean. First, keeping it clean prevents the spread of invasive species because you never know what animal or plant hitched a ride on your boat. So, in order to protect our waterways, it’s essential to clean your boat regularly.

Secondly, by keeping it clean you also protect its structure. Over time, the salt from the sea (if you tend to ride in sea waters) will begin to erode, thus causing scratches and abrasions.

Also, a clean boat performs better. On the flip side, a dirty hull may increase fuel costs by as much as 30%.

We recommend you clean your boat on land in order to prevent polluting the water. But if that’s not possible for you and you need to clean it in the water, then make sure that you use safe products and avoid toxic substances.

Properly Store Your Boat

Properly-Store-Your-Boat
Source: yachtandboatguide.com

For proper boat protection from the elements, insects and animals and for storing your boat you need adequate and quality marine boat covers. Covers for boat are an inexpensive necessity for people who spend time on the water with their boats. From deterring theft to keeping your craft clean, from saving time to saving money on cleaning and repairs – these covers are the real deal.

Boat covers have several uses. Aside from the most obvious one which is keeping the boat clean and dirt-free, there are many more advantages of boat covers. Another advantage is protecting the boat from the ultra-violet rays from the sun. They can be quite harmful to your boat. Sun has an uncanny way of breaking down rubber components, thus causing cracks and weaknesses on many boat parts.

Marine boat covers also keep animals out of your boat, especially nesting mammals and rodents that usually enjoy the comfort of the storage compartments of your boat or the space beneath your deck. For animals that like to chew on wires (squirrels, let’s say), a boat cover can save valuable time and money.

Let’s not forget that humans are prone to pry their sticky fingers into an unoccupied boat. So, a boat cover can also act as an excellent deterrent to theft. You know that it’s not hard to carry away a gas tank, battery or paddles from a boat left sitting on the drive or away at camp. A secure cover may just be enough to make theft pass by your boat.

Typically, these covers can also be tied down to the boat trailer for travel, thus allowing your boat to arrive at the launch in pristine condition. You won’t have to worry about wet interiors, dusty carpets or sun damage while pulling your craft down the road.

Boat Engine Maintenance

Boat-Engine-Maintenance
Source: tanorient.com

Take preventive measures to keep your engine running for a long time. You don’t necessarily have to be a mechanic to preserve the value of your boat. Before you perform engine maintenance, check your manufacturer’s recommendations. That being said, here are several general tips for caring for an outboard motor before every trip:

  • Ensure that you have fuel and that the fuel tank vent is open
  • Ensure that the engine mount screw clamps are tight and secure
  • Make sure that the water intake is debris-free
  • Check the propeller for caught fishing line and excessive oil buildup

After every trip with your boat, flush the motor to eliminate sand, dirt and other debris. To do this correctly, take the following steps:

  • Get “earmuffs” or a motor flushing attachment
  • Slip them onto the water intake and attach a garden hose
  • Start the engine and allow the water pump to do its work
  • While cleaning the motor, ensure the water pump has good flow by carefully feeling the temperature of the water stream
  • Make sure that the water is not hot, and that the output is strong
    In case the water pump is not functioning properly, shut the engine down and insert a piece of wire into the flow tube to remove debris
  • Restart it and re-check the flow. If the output is still weak, it means that it’s time to replace the water pump
  • Disconnect the fuel line after flushing the engine
  • Allow the engine to burn all the fuel in the carburettor, and then turn off the key and battery switch
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