Tips on Boat Maintenance

Like with a car, you need to maintain your boat. There are a few boat management tasks that people can perform at home, but the rest is typically done in a shop. Follow these tips to make sure that you keep your boat properly maintained. 

Create a Checklist

Today you need to maintain your engine, hull, topsides, electrical system, plumbing, HVAC system, canvas, upholstery, and other moving parts. Fortunately, this checklist is much shorter, thanks to modern marine hardware. Despite fewer parts that need to be maintained, you should still write out a checklist with all the parts you need to update periodically. 

Do Simple Things Yourself

The most simple maintenance task is to keep your boat clean. This has a definite impact on how long your boat will last. For instance, if you don’t wash your boat regularly, the fiberglass coating will start to get chalky. Therefore, the first chore on your list is regular washing and waxing. You’re also going to want to regularly clean the upholstery and canvas to prevent mold from growing and deteriorating the materials. While you’re washing, don’t forget to clean the bilge. 

If you spend a day out on freshwater, washing is the only chore you will have. However, you are going to want to flush your engine after a day on saltwater. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when doing this. Lastly, after each trip, you are going to want to inspect your boat’s systems. If you notice anything wrong, be sure to take it to the shop. 

Bring It to the Shop for Maintenance

Most annual chores are left to the professionals. Similarly, when you bring your boat in, you can also have your trailer worked on. Be sure to choose a mechanic who will perform all the items on your checklist. 

Prepare for the Cost

Some people choose to work on boats themselves because of the cost of maintenance. Thankfully, modern vessels don’t require many part swaps so that you will save on labor. If you choose to take the boat to a shop, you will often pay up to 10 percent of the boat’s original cost. In the first few years, it’s going to be a lot cheaper than this. However, depending on how often and hard you drive your boat will impact the maintenance costs. 

Boat maintenance is important to keep your boat running in tip-top shape, just like a car. Whether you choose to do your maintenance at home or bring it to a shop, you should follow these tips to ensure your boat is around for the long haul.