It would be nice to think when you by a boat that it would be set and forget but unfortunately this is not the case. Proper maintenance can extend the life of your boat, reduce the need for costly repairs, and help ensure the safety of your passengers. Owning a boat will always entail cleaning and care, routine inspection, battery care, motor maintenance, safety equipment and bilge pump checks and reviews of electrical components. Further, boat maintenance doesn’t just mean paying attention to your boat when you’re actively using it but you also need to protect your craft through an effective winterization routine. While every part of your boat is important, keeping your engine in tip top order should be a priority. You should always flush your engine after every outing, and check everything from your fuel tanks to the clamps on your fuel line for rust, damage or corrosion. Also check your oil for correct levels, proper filtration, and cleanliness. Last, but not least, keep an eye on your engine’s cooling system to make sure it’s functioning correctly.
“No one should expect an engine in a marine environment to operate any differently to a car. It needs maintenance”
Things to consider when looking to maintaining your boat:
- Wash the boat and engine bay – reduces deterioration by salt on engines and fittings
- Flush engines after use – lengthens the life of the engine
- Change Boat oil regularly – Boats need to have their oil changed. The frequency will vary by model and make so best to follow manufacturers guidelines.
- Check the battery voltage – Better to find out before you leave that battery is losing charge. Always check fluid levels and keep battery clean.
- Check propellors before launching – If you have an outboard or stern drive boat you should check the propeller as part of your pre-launch routine.
- Check engines for rust or corrosion – Getting in early and identifying issues will prevent bigger problems developing
- Check the boat for loose fittings – Many times, expensive damage to a boat could easily have been prevented by following a preventative watercraft maintenance routine.