As a boat owner, you must maintain your vessel properly and regularly. You’ll have to get your hands dirty to keep your boat operational and in good shape. The only scenario where you don’t have to do any boat maintenance is when your boat is docked at a marina and receives full service from professionals.
A piece of advice that every boater will give you is to wipe off your boat when setting it wet. This task can be a little exhausting if you go sailing frequently. The point of drying your boat is to prevent waterline stains. Any type of moisture can be bad for the boat’s finish. Morning dew encourages mildew, saltwater corrodes the boat’s components, and scupper water causes stains on the hull with minerals.
So, keep several towels on your boat and in the trailer because they will come in handy after every boating trip.
Now that you know the most important boat cleaning tip, here is a maintenance guide for your boat and a look at how to preserve other parts of your boat:
Wash Your Boat
Once you have docked your boat, it’s time to wash it. Use a brush to scrub the dirt and then pressure wash the sides. Make sure to use environmentally friendly soap like biodegradable detergents specially made for boats. Making better choices in this regard will protect the boat’s gel coat finish and metallic components from rust. A dirty hull increases the fuel cost by 30%. So, you should clean deep and hard for better fuel economy.
Inspect the Bilge Pump
The bilge pump is responsible for removing dirty water from the bilge. Without this water pump, your boat can sink. Inspect the hook for any debris and clean it to prevent clogs. Have another bilge pump on board in case the first one fails during the sail.
Inspect All the Gauges
Before you untie the rope from the cleat, check all the gauges to ensure they are working correctly. All should be in working condition, from fuel level to speed, the ECOS clip, and more.
Test the Battery
You must recharge your boat’s battery before it falls below 20%. The battery degrades over time, even if not in use. You should check your battery at least twice a year and more during the boating season. This step will ensure that you are not set adrift due to the battery dying.
A lead-acid battery comes with a 3-year warranty and lasts around 3 to 5 years. If you see any signs of corrosion, clean the connectors with a wire brush.
Wipe Down the Boat Seats
To prevent salt, dirt, mold, mildew, and water from damaging your boat seats, you must regularly wipe them. Use a biodegradable detergent to wash the seats. Use a sponge to clean the suds, and clean the seats with a cloth dipped in fresh water. Finally, use a dry cloth to wipe the residual moisture.
Check the Propeller
The propeller is an essential part of a boat. If it is compromised or damaged, you won’t be able to steer your boat properly, increasing fuel costs and limiting how far you can sail.
You need to change the engine oil after 100 hours of operation. An oil change done on time will increase the life of your boat’s engine and other parts.
And there you have it — a simple maintenance guide for your boat. In conclusion, you should check the engine oil, propeller, and vents for blockages, engine temperature, and oil pressure every time you take out your boat.
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