A Brief Introduction to Boat Maintenance for Beginners
Have you just bought a boat, but are unsure about how to keep it? Boat maintenance is vital, to ensure you do not get caught out while on a trip. Luckily, you just need to know when and what to do, and it is a very simple process.
We have broken it down into an easy to understand checklist. Read on to find our must-know guide on boat maintenance.
Boat Maintenance and Your Engine
The most important piece of boating safety you will do is the maintenance of your engine. It is the part that gets you out on the water, and you do not want it to break down when you are out there.
Annual maintenance is advised, and this usually involves a change of the oil and filters. The engine lubricant will also be replaced, though you should check this a little more often over the course of the year. Many owners like to do this at the end of the season, so the boat is ready for the next year.
Maintain the Hull
Maintaining your hull is very easy, and a clean boat also looks great. If the hull is fiberglass, then you can hose it down after every use to get any dirt or saltwater off. After this, apply wax and polish it, though this only has to be done around twice a year.
When you hose the boat down, you can also start the deck cleaning. This will just require a mop or hose. There are a lot of aftermarket products that will help protect it, which you can add to the water you use.
What not to do is hose the boat down without checking it. Every time you have been out, you need to inspect for cracks and general tear throughout the season.
Check Your Electrics
Electrics are arguably as vital as the engine. If they fail when you are out on the water, it can leave you in serious trouble. Luckily, checking and maintaining the electrics is something you can do on your own.
Check the charge on your battery before every trip. This is because it could deaden or weaken between excursions, and you do not want to get caught while out on the water. Batteries should require a total change every few years, so note down when you do it on your boat maintenance checklist.
Check the Plumbing
Another thing to check is the plumbing onboard your boat. If you have an onboard bathroom, you don’t want it getting clogged up. Make sure the flushing mechanism and running water are working before you head out.
A more important part of the plumbing system is the bilge pump. Check it regularly for clogs and faulty hoses. This is responsible for stopping your boat from sinking, so you must keep it in perfect working order.
Get a Professional Service
While boat maintenance can be done yourself, it is advised to get a professional to check over at least once a year. A professional may notice things you do not or may be able to give advice on upgrades and how to improve efficiency.
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