Just like a car, owning a boat is a lifestyle perk. Traveling on the road is cool but going on the water is another beautiful experience everyone should have. Beyond being an avenue to fish, boat rides can be calming and fun too. And boats can double as an excellent self-storage facility.
Like cars, boats need regular maintenance to keep running efficiently. If you don’t take proper care of your boat then you reduce the lifespan a great deal. But the better care you take of it the longer it will last, and the better it will serve you.
Contrary to popular belief, boat care is not just cursory visual inspections anytime you want to take it out. You need to make it a habit to care for your boat after every outing, and also create a routine maintenance schedule for it.
This article will cover the basics of boat maintenance, from cleaning tips to basic technical checks.
Clean The Boat Regularly
Aside from the fact that a clean boat generally performs better, keeping your boat clean will keep the exterior structure in good shape over time; especially because the salt from the sea has an adverse long-term effect on the exterior. It can also cause blemishes that will be difficult and expensive to remove.
Cleaning your boat regularly is also an excellent idea if you are using it as a self-storage facility and it’s also important to note that a clean boat is a healthy and safe boat. Asides from keeping it neat, another important reason why regularly cleaning your boat is important is that it will prevent the growth or attachment of invasive elements like potentially dangerous plants or animals. This protects both you and the general public.
The best place to clean your boat is on land. Cleaning it on the water contributes to water pollution. If you must clean it on the water make sure to use eco-friendly and non-toxic products. And make sure to rinse the boat with fresh water after cleaning to get rid of the salt.
Inspect Your Boat Often
Inspecting your boat often enables you to spot technical issues before they blow out of proportion and potentially get you in an accident. It’s very important to make routine boat inspections a habit and pay extra attention to the hull before using it. The key areas to note while doing a thorough boat inspection include the fluids, motor, wiring, controls, and pumps.
Make Sure The Batteries Are Good To Go
No matter how often you use them, batteries generally degrade over time. If you go for months without checking your batteries they can die when you’re in an inconvenient position like when you’re stuck on the open water with no help close to you. You can check how much charge your battery has left with a voltage meter and if the battery is running low, replace it before taking the boat to the open water. Another thing to note is connections to the batteries. Keep the connections clean to make sure the electrical juice will get to where it’s needed the most.
Make Sure To Use Marine Cleaning Products And Fresh Water
You don’t use random products to clean your boat because they could damage the surfaces. You need to get the right cleaning products that are specially designed to clean the surfaces without destroying them and to kill bacteria as well. Ensure to use freshwater also to avoid damage from water that contains chemicals or minerals.
Inspect The Bilge Pumps
A bilge pump is there to pump water away from the boat’s interior and it particularly comes in handy when you’re out on the rough sea. The water it pumps out of the boat is what will save your boat from sinking. The bilge pump requires maintenance too; you need to check the mechanical and electrical systems.
Sometimes, dirt and external objects can get into the pump and disrupt its functioning. Routine checks on the pump are what will help you spot this before it causes a fatal accident. Another important cautionary measure is to test the pump before seasonal use to ensure that it’s working as it should. If it doesn’t start as it is supposed to, it could be an indication that something is wrong and needs to be fixed before you take the boat out.
Get Professional Checks From Time To Time
Especially after long seasonal use; you need expert eyes and hands to take a thorough look at the boat to pick up on anything you may have missed or erroneously ignored. Especially, when it comes to the more technical parts of the boat like the motors.
An expert will not only flag down potential boat issues, but they will also give you better insight as to what specific areas you need to center your own routine maintenance checks on. While picking a mechanic consider their years of experience, range of services, and the price they charge to be sure they are a good fit. Keep in mind that the most expensive mechanic may not necessarily be the best.
If you haven’t been consistent with a maintenance regimen with your boat then now is as good a time to start. Good boat care will keep your boat in the best shape for years and enable it to give you an experience that’s worth your money every time you take it out to the open water.