Be the Best Captain By Following These Boat Maintenance Tips

Are you about to buy your first boat and want to gain an insight into the maintenance that it will need? Do you want to learn how to maintain your boat to keep it  from falling apart?
 
Buying a boat is an investment that needs a lot of careful consideration before you decided to go ahead and buy it, but the hard work does not end here as you will also have to pay particular attention to maintenance and cleaning.
 
Just like an automobile,  you have to maintain your boat on a regular basis to ensure that it’s in optimum condition. Make it a habit to check and tend to things on a weekly basis or at the start and end of the season . If you can maintain your boat on a consistent schedule then you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as all your hard work and effort will reward you by increasing the longevity of your boat.
 
Read on for more boat maintenance tips and suggestions that every captain should know about before they set sail or are thinking about purchasing their very first boat.
You don’t need to be a mechanic or have any specialist technical know how when it comes to maintaining your boats motor engine. Make it a habit to check the engine oil on a regular basis as running low on oil can seriously cause engine damage and give it a top up if you feel that you are low on oil as this will keep your engine working for a longer period of time.
 
We recommend that you change your oil ever 50 – 100 hours (always check your owners manual for the boat engine’s exact requirements).  If you have a brand new boat engine you should change the the oil once every 20 hours for the first 100 hours of usage. As the engine gets older it requires less frequent oil changes (always refer to your boat engine’s owners manual for the exact requirements)
 
Oil changing is easy and there are a few things to keep in mind if you want to see the best results for your boat:-
 
  • Check for oil or fuel leaks whilst engine is running.
  • Check that you have enough fuel and the fuel tank vent is open.
  • Inspect all fuel lines or hoses for any cracks.
  • Lubricate moving parts with anti-corrosive.

2. Flush your boat engine

Flushing your boat engine with fresh water should be done after every boat outing whether you travel on salt water or fresh water. If you flush the engine after every salt water application it can prevent salt residue and scale from building up and damaging the components of the engine. It is also recommended that you should also flush your boat engine after travelling on fresh water as it eliminates dirt, sand or muck.
 
Many modern outboard motors feature an in-built freshwater flushing system (always check your boat engine’s manual on how to do this). See below for our recommendations. 

 

The (Marine Warehouse Motor Flusher Dual Feed Round – Check price here) can be used on most inbounds and outboards. It connects to a standard garden hose, and can be easily installed and removed without using any specialist tools. Use this to run a test on your boat motor before you take it out to sea. 

 

3. Check your boat propellor

Your boat’s propellor is important for fuel economy and  the boats performance because if it’s damaged  you could end up being stranded out at sea which can be a very costly mistake. These problems can be easily rectified if you routinely check this before you leave.
 
Here are a few tips that can help you with this :-
 
  • Always check and inspect the propellor before you leave.
  • Make sure that the propellor nut is tight and secure as the last thing you want is the propellor to zing off in deep waters when you’re miles offshore .
  • Look for any obvious damage such as small dents, nicks and dings. These are signs that your propellor has hit something bending, cracking appearing in the blades.
  • Remove any stray fishing lines or debris that may have wrapped itself around the propellor shaft.
  • Make sure that the propellor shaft is properly greased as this prevents corrosion (I would recommend the Quicksilver 8M0071838 High Performance Multi Purpose Marine Grease – Check price here)

4. Clean and repair your boat upholstery

Boat upholstery gets dirty very fast as sand, mud, dirty water quickly builds up and accumulates especially if you like to go fishing or live in a hot climate. If you let the boat sit for too long dust, mould, mildew and grime will make it more difficult to scrub, clean and maintain. 

Maintaining and repairing your boat upholstery is something you need to keep a watchful eye over over the coming months. See below for our best recommendations.

The (3M Vinyl Cleaner and Restorer – Check price here) gives vinyl a protective shine and treatment making it look brand new. It is specially formulated for harsh marine conditions. Simple and easy to use on vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces. 

The (Meguair’s M5716SP Marine Vinyl and Rubber Cleaner – Check price here) gives vinyl a clean, rich and protective shine. Specially formulated to prevent boat surfaces from drying, fading or cracking whilst UV protection reduces damage from the harsh light of the sun. Easy to use and apply on vinyl, rubber and plastics. 

Boat upholstery is especially vulnerable to wear and tear as threading may begin to come apart after a while. To fix stitching or seams that are coming apart you’ll need patience, attention and a needle

To fix tears or holes that you can see on the seat there are many repair kits available online that can prevent the tear from getting much worse. 

The (Permatex 81781 Ultra Series Vinyl and Leather Repair Kit – Check price here) can be used to repair holes, tears and gouges in vinyl and leather. 

 

5. Keep the boat covered

Whether you’re winterizing your boat or waiting until next weekend to bring it out again, you always want to have a cover for your boat.
 
Doing so can prevent it from undergoing severe wear and tear due to the elements. A significant amount of rain can cause the coloring and coating on your boat to fade, making it appear older than it actually is. 
 
Be sure to always prop up the cover so that water can’t collect on it. Otherwise, the water may leak into your boat or cause the cover to collapse. Find a waterproof and UV-resistant cover (you can check the price here) to protect your boat all year-round.

6. Keep your eye on the Bilge

If your bilge ever becomes filled with water, you could be in a world of trouble. It’s always best to have a bilge pump on the boat in case that were to happen while you’re out on the water.
 
However, proper maintenance can ensure this doesn’t happen. Anytime you check the bilge, start by checking the impeller with the power off. Make sure there isn’t anything caught in the float switch that would stop it from working the right way.
 
Next, make sure that the battery power by turning the switch on and off. Lastly, check the discharger hose to see if there’s a clog of any sort. If left unchecked, the clog will stop water from escaping out of the bilg

7. Monitor the condition of your anchor

Last, but certainly not least, you can prioritize proper boat maintenance by keeping a watchful eye on your anchor, as well as the chain that it’s attached to.
 
Always look for the first signs of rust or corrosion. If your anchor is attached to a rope, then watch out for fraying. Either of the two can make it difficult to reel your anchor back in or cause it to become detached while in use.
 
Any time that you see signs of rust, detach the anchor and clean it with a rust remover (you can check price here). This will keep your anchor and the chain in the best condition possible!

Use these boat maintenance tips to your advantage

Now that you have seen all the different ways to prioritize boat maintenance on your current or new boat, be sure to use them to your advantage.
 
If you are looking for a new boat be sure to take the time to read this article and pick the right boat for your needs as doing this can help you find the perfect fit for your new/used boat that you buy.
 
You have to stay on top of all your boat maintenance tasks regularly in order to keep your boat in a good condition for a long time. 

Advertisment

Add your ADSENSE CODE HERE

Find this widget under Appearance-Widgets

Popular Articles

Beginner's Guides

Boats: Are They Safer Than Cars Or Planes?

When you think about any method of transport, one of the first things that comes to mind is how safe is this? Where boats are …

Read More →
Beginner's Guides

Top 12 Reasons Why Boating Is So Expensive

When you’re thinking about taking up a new hobby or getting involved in a new activity, one of the first things you’ll think about is …

Read More →
Beginner's Guides

How To Look After Your Sails To Prevent Damage

Maintaining a sailboat, regardless of the type, involves a lot of work but no job is quite as important as looking after your sails. If …

Read More →

Recent Posts

Advertisment

Add your ADSENSE CODE HERE

Find this widget under Appearance-Widgets