A boat is a major investment, and once you purchase one, you have to take care of it. What does boat maintenance look like? How should you take care of your boat after you drive it off the lot? Here are several tips for boat care and maintenance tasks you should perform.
Even though boats come in different shapes and sizes, they all require regular maintenance with some common tasks. These maintenance tasks include:
Cleaning your boat’s exterior is critical for keeping it in great shape. After all, the exterior is exposed to the elements—both in the water and on land. When you clean the exterior of your boat, it’s best to clean your hull. A clean hull reduces fuel costs in the long run, and it gets rid of any critters that have sneaked their way onto your boat. If you have a fiberglass boat, you should wax it twice a season to protect its gel coating. You should also wipe down the boat canvas (fabric components like boat covers) and upholstery to keep them from developing mold or mildew. You can wipe canvas down with a brush and soap and water. When you clean the upholstery, use a damp cloth to wipe it down and a soft, dry cloth to dry it. These cleaning tasks keep your boat from developing avoidable problems and help it run smoothly throughout its lifespan.
If you plan to perform regular maintenance yourself, it’s a good idea to use a checklist. A checklist helps you remember which maintenance tasks to perform so you never miss them. Common boat maintenance checklist items include:
- Check the engine for cracked hoses and corrosion. Replace cracked hoses immediately if you find any. Also check that the outboard motor is in the correct position.
- Check your boat’s battery at least once a year to ensure it operates properly. Your boat can’t run without a good battery.
- Make sure the bilge pump collects and removes excess water from the bottom of your boat, called the bilge. Your boat could sink if the bilge pump doesn’t work.
- Examine the propeller and check for damage, such as dents in the blades. Also check that the propeller nut is secure and tighten it with a socket wrench if it’s loose.
- Clean the electric lines to prevent them from deteriorating. Deterioration on these lines can create a fire hazard.
- Drain the oil filter on a regular schedule. Leaving your oil unchanged could damage your boat’s engine components. This task is similar to getting your car’s oil changed.
- Inspect your hull for potential blisters or cracks and put the drain plugs in place.
- Check all fluid levels to make sure they are correct. These fluids include coolant and power steering fluid, and they help your boat run properly.
Research winter storage techniques for your boat type and use them to maintain your boat in the off season. If you have a sailboat, you’ll want to store your boat outside with the masts up and have it professionally shrink wrapped. Shrink wrapping keeps your boat ventilated and covered in the off season. Other types of boats benefit from indoor storage on dry racks. You can store your boat at a dry rack facility in a secure, covered building until you’re ready to take it out on the water again. You could also store your boat on the water if your harbor offers that option. The storage option you choose depends on the type of boat you have and how you personally want to store it.
Schedule annual maintenance for your boat so a professional can perform boat maintenance and repair services. A professional may find problems that you miss, and they can perform common boat repairs quickly and effectively. These professional services help you keep your boat in good condition and prevent minor problems from growing into major ones.
Reach out to Finance Solution to find the right financing options for your boat purchase.
When you buy a boat, you may think boats are expensive to maintain. While you may have a lot of maintenance costs, remember that they are part of your investment in your boat. Boats are significant investments, and it’s critical that you invest in them properly. A good boat investment includes good maintenance and excellent financing. At Finance Solution, we help people buy boats from dealerships by providing financing and insurance options that fit their financial situations.
If you’re ready to buy a boat from a dealership, Finance Solution is here to help you finance your purchase.