So you finally took the plunge and got a new boat. Congratulations! Now the real fun begins.
If this is your first time owning a boat, you’re probably eager to get out onto the water and start enjoying yourself.
As with any fine piece of machinery though, you’ll need to perform regular boat maintenance to keep your boat in top condition year after year.
The following three tips are fundamental to your boat’s performance.
1. Know Your Pre-Launch Basics
Of course, you’ll always want to be sure you have enough gas for your journey. But another equally important component is preventing moisture from getting into the fuel tank.
Consult with your boat manufacturer’s guidelines when it comes to fuel additives, as well as stabilizers, to ensure proper usage.
If you have an outboard or stern drive boats, you’ll also want to regularly conduct propeller maintenance. Before setting out, check to see that that the propeller is solid and secure, and that the propeller shaft is free from debris, such as fishing line.
Anything caught up in the propeller could lead to gear case leaks.
2. Conserve Battery Power
One of the most expensive components on a boat is the batteries. Discharging even the top-of-the-line batteries below 50% of their rated capacity will significantly shorten their life. And completely discharging the battery with regularity can destroy it in a matter of months.
To prevent over-discharge and failure, it’s crucial you treat the service batteries well to ensure they last. The best way to do this is to calculate your daily power use.
You can estimate this by taking the current (in Amps) of all of your boat’s electrical devices and multiplying that number by the amount of time in hours you generally expect to utilize your boat each day.
You’ll find that if your batteries are too small, you’re potentially discharging too much. Consult sources such as this size guide to determine the ideal battery size for your boat.
3. Protect Your Engine
The engine is the heart of your boat, so it’s essential you perform routine inspections of it.
The first item on your boat maintenance checklist should be checking the oil. If it’s low, top it off. And plan on a full oil change at least once for every 50-100 hours of running the engine.
From there, look for any oil or fuel leaks. If you suspect you may have sprung one, don’t hesitate to call your local boar repair or engine manufacturer for next best steps.
Also, inspect all hoses, lines, and clamps for any signs of wear or corrosion. And use an anti-corrosive to lubricate all moving parts.
Finally, you should flush your engine with fresh water after every outing. With most modern outboards, there’s a built-in freshwater flushing system to simplify the process.
Don’t Skimp on Boat Maintenance
You’ll get the most from your boat if you regularly perform the above boat maintenance tips. Plus, you can feel confident in knowing that you’ll have your new investment for many seasons to come.
And if you’re looking for more great tips, advice, and stories about living the outdoor life, keep checking back with us!