Boat ownership comes with a lot of responsibility, and not just when operating on the water keeping passengers and a vessel afloat. A boat is constructed of many components, most of which aren’t cheap or small. Your boat requires a propeller shaft, water pump, starter, load-bearing parts and more. While you can easily find these and more marine engine room parts at a marine retailer, preventative maintenance is one way to avoid a lot of expensive repairs or replacements. Here’s what you should do for preventative boat maintenance.
One of the basics of boat maintenance, particularly with a fiberglass boat, is washing and waxing the entire exterior. If you don’t take care of the exterior, the fiberglass gel coat will start to oxidize and turn chalky. You also need to take care of the canvas and upholstery that is exposed. Dirt and moisture that remain provide the perfect breeding ground for mildew and mold. Not only can mold cause problems with allergies, but it can also stain your seating or canvas top. Failing to clean the bilge thoroughly can also keep you from spotting leaking fluids.
There are lots of moving parts that need lubrication both after a day out on the water and routinely in order to preserve their longevity. While many of the alloys and coatings on a boat are designed to resist corrosion, it is important to maintain a factory-recommended lubrication schedule to ensure full functionality and protection. Your owner’s manual will also show where are the grease points are located.
When you aren’t going to be on the water for a while, perhaps because of scheduling or the winter season, you need to take proper care of the boat before and during storage. There may be parts of your maintenance plan that can be done by the professionals while out of the water too, such as changing the oil in the engine, painting the bottom of the hull or lubricating the different fittings.
Covering your boat during storage can prevent weather and temperature damage, and there are different steps to take if you are storing your boat in a yard, on a storage rack or in the water at marine. Storing your boat properly has a lot to do with how quickly you can get back on the water during the next season.
Proper, preventative boat maintenance can save you a lot of time and money, and it can help preserve the lifespan of your boat and all its components. If you aren’t sure how to get started, consult your owner’s manual.