BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS FEATURE

BOAT MAINTENANCE TIPS

When you own a boat, one of the responsibilities that come with it is to perform proper maintenance to ensure that you can use your boat whenever you want. Proper maintenance allows you to preserve the condition of your boat and maintains its performance. The general rule is to make sure you do boat maintenance at least once a year. To help you out, here are tips on how to perform your own boat maintenance.

WASHING YOUR BOAT

The first and simplest part of maintenance is washing it. This is very important, especially if you frequently go boating in saltwater. You have to rinse it thoroughly with freshwater every after use to remove the salt residue. Salt is the common cause of corrosion on metal parts of a boat. Use a soft-bristle brush and marine boat wash because this is specially formulated for gel coat. If marine boat wash isn’t available, you can use car wash soap instead.

OIL CHANGE

Boats also need their oil changed just like cars do, especially boats using outboard and inboard motors. The general rule is to change the oil every after 1000 hours of use. You have two options when changing the oil of your motor: you can either take it to the local shop or do it yourself.

Changing the oil is simple. First, start the engine to warm it up. Wait 5 minutes and then turn it off. Afterwards, remove the dipstick then use an oil extraction suction tube and insert it into the dipstick tube. Slide it all the way in and then start pumping out the oil. After you’ve finished extracting the oil, set it aside and take it to the boat shop for recycling later.

Once that’s done, place a rag around the filter and start removing it using a wrench. Get a new oil filter and screw it on. Rub oil around the sealing gasket, and then replace the dipstick, get the new oil and start filling the engine with the oil. One thing you need to take note of when changing the oil of your engine is you need to use marine grade oil.

PROPELLER INSPECTION

This maintenance procedure is done if you’re using a stern drive boat or an outboard motor. Make sure to include this in your pre-launch routine every time.

When inspecting your propeller, the first you do is to remove it using a deep well socket. Once you’ve removed it, check and see if there are fishing lines entangled around the shaft of the propeller. Remove it if there are any and then go to your dealer and have the gear case checked because fishing lines are one of the most common causes of gear case leaks.

Once that is covered, check your propeller and see if there are any signs of damage. If it has dents, nicks or other signs of impact, have it repaired because even the smallest dent can affect the performance of your boat. It will cause your motor to burn more fuel and place extra stress on the bearings, which can cause actual damage to the motor.

Once you’ve finished checking the propeller, you can place it back to the shaft, but make sure to put waterproof grease to prevent the shaft from corroding and freezing in place. Place it back in the same way you took it off. Always double check the nuts if they’re properly secured against the locking tabs.

Proper boat maintenance is a must for any boat owner. By following this simple guide, you’ll guarantee that your boat is always seaworthy and will last for a long time. After all, a boat is an investment that you need to take proper care of.


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Martin White
martinw@dinga.com.au

Martin is huge on everything outdoors and is even bigger on driving and technology. He loves boats, new stuff and writing about it.