Like many pieces of equipment, boats need preventative maintenance to deliver their best performance on the water season after season. If you’re a fellow boat owner interested in learning how to keep your boat in tip-top shape, read on for 5 important services that will help you better maintain and enjoy your investment.
Wash and Clean Your Boat
Like washing your car, washing your boat can go a long way toward preserving its exterior. Boats are exposed to unique elements because of their life on the water. Routinely washing your boat with fresh water allows you to keep its outer shell protected and is doubly important if you boat on salt water.
Fresh water, specifically formulated boat soap, a soft-bristle brush, and boat wax is all you need to clean your boat of any harmful residues and preserve its finish.
Change the Oil and Oil Filter Regularly
The number one preventative maintenance practice for your ride on land also applies to your ride on water. Changing your boat’s engine oil and filter at its recommended service intervals keeps engine parts lubricated and the internal engine temperature from rising above a safe level.
Always consult your boat’s owner’s manual for information regarding oil requirements and oil and filter change frequency.
Protect the Battery in the Winter
Avoid having to confront a dead battery when you retrieve your boat in the spring by charging and storing batteries in a separate, temperate location, only stowing them away after they’ve been cleaned of any corrosion.
4. Know Your Fuel Additives and Stabilizers
In addition to refueling your boat regularly to make sure that you have plenty of gas for your next adventure and prevent moisture from getting into your fuel tank, carefully follow your boat manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to fuel additives.
When you put your boat into storage in the winter, be sure to empty the fuel tank or protect it with a fuel stabilizer recommended for your model.
5. Check Your Propeller Often
For outboard or stern drive boats, propeller maintenance is a key part of keeping unnecessary repair costs at bay. Before you set out on any boating endeavor, make sure that the propeller is tight and secure. Routinely inspect the propeller for wear.
Make sure that the propeller shaft itself is free from debris. It’s not uncommon for fishing line to get wrapped around it, which can lead to gear case leaks.
You’re on Your Way to Better Boat Ownership
When it comes to boat maintenance, a little extra time on your end is all you need to keep your vessel looking and running like new. We hope you’ll take these boating tips and run with them!
Want more useful guides like these? Head to the boat information archive of the Automotive Training Center blog.