old boat

QUICK GUIDE TO BASIC SMALL BOAT MAINTENANCE

The best thing about owning a small boat is the fact that that they are very easy to maintain. Small boat maintenance is so easy that many small boat owners don’t bother with it at all. Maintenance not performed isn’t maintenance and ultimately leads to higher costs or a boat that ends up at the recycling depot. Here is a look at the basic tasks to perform each time you use your small boat to keep it in tip top condition.

WASH YOUR BOAT

Washing your boat on a regular basis is an absolute must. Boats used in saltwater must be washed and rinsed in fresh water just like boats used in freshwater. Getting rid of all residue is essential to extend the life of your small boat. Use a long handle, soft bristle boat brush and quality soap. Boat wash is the best, especially if you want to gel coat your paint. Car wash is next best thing. If you have a simple tinnie, go with soap and water while making sure you rinse it thoroughly.

MAINTAIN YOUR MOTOR

Unless you are enjoying the benefits of an electric outboard motor, you will have to put some effort into the maintenance of your boat motor. All motors need to be serviced regularly to ensure they run efficiently and run cleanly. It’s your job to keep the environment clean as much as it is your job to keep your boat running clean. A well-maintained motor will cost a whole lot less to run. Make sure you use marine motor oil because automotive motor oil will just not do.

CHECK YOUR PROP

Always make sure you check the propeller before you depart with outboard or sterndrive boats. Remove the propeller a few times over the year to make sure something hasn’t become tangled around the shaft or propeller. Always check the condition of your propeller on your outboard motor too because damaged propellers will cause your motor to lose a considerable amount of performance.

Always put a good amount of marine-purpose grease on the shaft to keep it in good condition.

KEEP YOUR BOAT DRY

It’s ironic that water is the biggest cause of damage to boats. A boat sitting out the backyard without any cover will soon rot away. The sun and water are the enemies of boats. Look for a solution to keep your boat dry and clean when you are not using it. The investment in a boat cover that provides adequate protection will be well worth it.

 


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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.