There is no doubt that boats are expensive. The price varies wildly depending on the type, size, features, and brand, but on average you can expect to pay around $20,000 for a new boat, with some yachts and cabin cruisers going as high as $500,000.
The price to buy a boat is already high enough. No one wants to be saddled with costly repairs caused by poor boat maintenance and neglect. To all boat owners out there looking for a handy and straightforward guide to boat maintenance, read on.
It may not seem obvious, but you should wash your boat after every outing. Leaving your boat unwashed could result in paint damage, mold growth, or algae buildup. You can use a pressure washer to make this step easier, but if you don’t own one, a boat brush and cleaning solution will do. If you notice any paint chips on the hull or deck, sort it out right away with boat deck paint. Cracks and scratches in the paint can be points of entry for moisture and cause rust buildup and water damage.
Electrical and mechanical systems
Ensure the battery terminals are not loose and are free from corrosion. Your boat battery should be kept above a 50% charge to maximize the battery life. If your boat will be in storage for a while, keep the batteries charged and stored in your garage.
Remove propellers to check that no fishing lines or plants are tangled in the propeller shaft. Check the propeller itself for damages. If you see any, get them sorted out immediately to save and maintain fuel efficiency and avoid untoward incidents. Inspect moving parts like hinges and tracks to guarantee they’re working smoothly. If any of these parts are starting to rust or stiffen up, use lubricant and rust remover to get it sorted.
Plumbing and fluids
Before and after each outing, check that there aren’t any leaks in the plumbing. Change the oil based on your manufacturer’s recommendations. This ensures extended engine life and better performance.
You should also refuel regularly to ensure no moisture enters the fuel tank. However, if you’ll be putting your boat in storage for a while, empty the fuel tank and protect it with a fuel stabilizer.
At least once a year, you should bring your boat over to a shop to have it inspected and maintained by a professional. While you can do most of the general stuff yourself, an expert can spot signs of looming problems and offer preventive maintenance to ensure it doesn’t get worse. They can also give you concrete advice on how you can take better care of your boat.
Prevention is better than cure. Being faithful to your boat’s maintenance schedule can save you from paying thousands of dollars for repairs. It can also guarantee that your boat can last you a lifetime. You can even make boat care a fun bonding activity with your kids so they can learn about how the boat works and gain an appreciation for the effort it takes to keep it running.