If you happen to live near a large body of water, boating could be a fun activity for a summer-long adventure. Not only that, you could even go boating any time of the year as it offers you that convenience and freedom to enjoy the open water.
It is estimated in 2016, that over 142 million Americans enjoy boating. That represents around 36 percent of the households in the U.S.
Since boating is such a popular activity, it is pretty much obvious how important it is to learn more about its proper maintenance. Besides, you cannot enjoy your water outdoor activity if your boat is not in good shape.
Having a working knowledge of what to look for and how to take care of your boat helps extend the life and use of your water vehicle.
These are the top 10 tips any boat owner needs to be aware of.
10 boat maintenance tips
1. Have It Inspected Regularly
Most boat owners would assume that their boat is running in perfect condition each and every time they take it out of the water. But all boats take a beating whether it is normal or heavy use.
It is suggested by experts to get in the habit of having your boat inspected regularly. Inspections could be less frequent like wiring, motor, controls, and pumps, or it could be more frequent, like visual inspection of the hull.
Inspecting your boat allows you to have a clear view of what kind of boat maintenance you need while preventing any major problems from occurring.
2. Check and Clean Batteries
Even if you are not using your boat’s batteries, they happen to deteriorate over time. Regular entropy causes leaks and power drains, and ignoring these issues could lead to a lot of problems. And you do not want to find yourself stranded in the middle of open water with no lights or powered controls.
Having batteries and their connections checked is part of regular boat maintenance. Do this at least once every season.
3. Use Right Cleaning Products
Keep your boat looking shiny and new by giving it a good cleaning. Apart from that, it keeps your boat’s hull in good shape for more years to come. This is especially crucial if you are using your boat in saltwater.
When cleaning your boat, it is important to use proper cleaning products. This helps prevent damage to any surfaces. Marine cleaning products are specially designed to clean the usual dirt and bacteria build-ups on your boat. Take note too that there are some products particularly made for specific types of water use.
4. Use Fresh Water
During the regular season, the usual boat maintenance includes washing the boat down after being in the water one or two times. Doing this helps clean the surface of any dirt and mud build-up, making off-season cleaning much easier.
When bathing your boat, remember to use freshwater though. Keep in mind the quality of the water you use. Most tap water will do fine, but those heavily ladened with chemicals and minerals could damage your boat’s surface.
5. Electrical Lines Inspection
Same with batteries, your boat’s electrical lines would deteriorate over time. Most often, it is the dirt and mud buildup that causes such physical damage. Thus, what must be included as well in your regular boat maintenance is checking the electrical lines.
6. Proper Window Cleaning
Your boat’s windows should not miss out on some tender love and care. While most window household cleaners work, specialty cleaners better suit your boat’s needs. Nonetheless, it is completely up to you being the boat owner to figure out what works best for you and your boat.
7. Bilge Pumps Maintenance
Your boat’s bilge pump can make a huge difference between life and death during a heavy storm or while traversing a rough sea. With this in mind, you know how important it is to give your bilges periodic maintenance. Before every seasonal use, make sure your boat’s pumps are in working order.
8. Use Fiberglass Reconditioner
Even with just normal use, your fiberglass hulls could take a beating. To prolong the life of your hulls, clean them off regularly with a fiberglass reconditioner.
This product helps in removing some of the oxidation stains and watermarks that cause damage to your boat’s hull over time. Apart from that, most of these compounds have a protective coating that helps deflect oil and water during normal use.
9. Consult With an Expert
There is a good chance you would need help from a marine yacht services company in addressing some of the issues with your boat. This is especially true when you have something complex that needs to be fixed or upgraded.
A professional mechanic knows better how to address problems before they turn into major issues.
Finally, the last tip in proper boat maintenance is winterizing your boat. A lot of damage occurs during the off-season with all the snow, ice, and old temperature. One way to prevent any expensive issue from occurring is by opting for an indoor storage solution.
With proper boat maintenance, you ensure your boat remains healthy and happy for many years to come.