If you live near a large body of water, a boat is your ticket to a summer of adventure. A boat symbolizes freedom on the open water. It can get you outside during the times you feel lazy, down, or unmotivated.
Proper boat maintenance is critical in keeping a boat running for a long time and in good condition. Under normal to heavy use, all boats take a beating. Depending on the type of water and weather conditions, they may encounter challenges that could sink or ground them if proper precautions are not taken.
Fortunately, boat maintenance is simple with a little knowledge and practice. It will help you greatly if you know what to look for and how to care for things. Continue reading for six of the most important boat maintenance tips every boat owner should know.
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Most boats sustain significant damage during the off-season. Boats prefer the spring and summer months because there are no snow, ice, or freezing temperatures to damage them. Depending on where you live, you might need to learn how to properly winterize your boat to shield it from cold-weather dangers.
Some people store their 21 ft boat indoors or in climate-controlled interior docks over the winter. If you are converting a private dock for winter storage, these solutions usually require monthly fees or an upfront payment. If you typically store your boat on your property, you may also come across commercial products such as tarps and backyard sheds.
Most of the leading boat dealers put their boats through rigorous testing in some of the harshest settings and proving grounds on Earth. These boats are designed to handle anything and get you there with greater assurance, competence, and excitement than before.
2. Clean and Check Batteries
Batteries tend to degrade over time, even if you aren’t using them. Power drains and leaks are common occurences in deteriorating batteries. If you ignore these concerns, you may be on the open water with no lights or power controls.
A battery check should be performed at least once a season for routine boat maintenance. A voltage meter can test batteries to see how much charge remains. Research how much charge your batteries usually use during a given season ahead of time. To play it safe, replace any batteries that may be running low.
Also, take a look at any connections to the batteries. Clean these connections so you know the electrical juice will reach where it’s most needed.
3. Clean Windows with a Cleaner
When the windows become too dirty, a good window cleaner can help. Frequent cleaning should be included on the boat maintenance checklist, particularly for windows directly in the spray line as the boat travels through the water. This includes the majority of windows near the waterline and the bow.
Specialty cleaners are available if you want to stay true to the boat’s needs. Certain household window cleaners work for some people, but their effectiveness is a hit or miss. When in doubt, some trial and error should reveal what works best for you and your boat’s requirements.
4. Check Bilge Pumps
If your boat sinks to the bottom of a lake or ocean, boat maintenance is meaningless. A bilge pump is usually present to pump water out of a boat’s interior when it happens. These pumps can mean the difference between life and death in severe weather or rough seas.
Bilges, like any other type of pump, require routine maintenance. Mechanical and electrical systems both have a high failure rate. Debris and objects, in particular, can become entangled in the internal workings of a pump, effectively stopping the flow of water.
Make sure everything is in working order before starting to use the pump. An electrical issue may be indicated by an inability to start or run normally. Strange noises or a lack of pumping action could indicate a mechanical problem. Before taking the boat out, you may need to repair a faulty part or repair or replace the entire unit.
5. Use a Fiberglass Reconditioner
Fiberglass hulls can withstand a lot of abuse in normal use. Most problems arise over time as multiple strikes and debris hit the same area repeatedly, wearing down the hull’s integrity. Regular cleaning can assist in removing some of this build-up and wear, but a fiberglass reconditioner goes further.
This is referred to as a fiberglass reconditioning compound, and it will typically remove some of the oxidization stains and watermarks that can damage a hull over time. Many compounds also form a protective coating around the hull, deflecting oil and water during normal operation.
Include this step in your pre-season boat maintenance routine to protect your boat all season.
6. Check Your Motor Discharge
Every time you start the motor, there should be a steady discharge from the hole on your outboard.
If not, it is a warning sign that your boat’s cooling system has become clogged, leading to engine overheating and possibly destruction. As a result, inspect your motor discharge regularly and contact a professional for any problems.
It is essential to maintain your boat properly and keep it running better and longer to ensure that you, your friends, and your family can enjoy boating safely. You will require a secure means of boarding your boat when you set out on a boating trip with your friends. Thanks to a reliable, simple-to-use dock or lift system, everyone may feel comfortable boarding your boat.