Even if you only use your boat once in a while, maintenance and proper upkeep are essential to avoid any mishaps or accidents. Doing so will ease your mind when you are out on the water and promote more fun when it actually matters. Or, you could refrain from adequately maintaining your vessel and head to the water, only to find out that you are not able to use your boat due to some problem that could have been prevented with proper upkeep.
Fortunately, there are a few extremely basic procedures that will give you a better idea concerning how to maintain your boat to ensure that it remains in optimal condition. What’s more, in the case of any unforeseen events, these procedures will also outline some essential items to keep with you while out on the water. Without further ado, here are five important boat maintenance tips.
1. Maintain Optimal Oil Levels
One of the most important procedures in boat ownership (or any motor vehicle, for that matter) is ensuring that you are regularly inspecting and changing the oil filter. This should be done every time you take the boat out for an adventure, no matter how large or small. The procedure takes a minimal amount of time but can save you from problems that could potentially last a lifetime. Additionally, when it comes to oil changes, make sure that you are changing it every fifty hours or approximately every four months, whichever occurs first. Many pros also recommend carrying at least 3 quarts of oil and a funnel. Doing so can prevent a slew of problems that could have otherwise been easily avoided.
2. Change the Transmission Fluid
Checking the transmission fluid is as paramount as checking the oil. Unfortunately, this is an area that many people do not adequately maintain. Consequently, this results in a ruined transmission, hefty costs, and lots of time away from the water. This is because the transmission is one of the most important components of a boat; after all, it handles some of the heaviest duties including starting, stopping, and carrying lots of weight. To properly maintain your transmission, take care to check the fluid every two weeks and change it at least once per season.
3. Check the Filter Frequently
In addition to the oil and transmission, another area that requires a routine checkup and occasional cleaning is the water filter. This is typically a simple task, but to get an idea of the amount of work involved it is essential to consider the content of the water you are visiting. Does it contain a lot of grass, mud, or garbage? Every time you venture out onto the water, all of these items are sucked through the boat’s intake. Fortunately, the filter catches most of them, which is why it’s so important to clean. An overworked filter can cause a variety of engine problems, which can cost you a lot of money and time that could otherwise be spent on water-related activities.
4. Don’t Neglect the Impellers
Your water pump and each of your ballast pumps contain impellers, which are extremely important to the optimal operation of your vessel. If they become compromised, your water flow will be impeded, which can cause excessive strain on your engine and pumps. To adequately maintain the impellers, simply remove the lid concealing them and ensure that the blades are in good shape. Should something be wrong, just remove the impeller and install a new one.
5. Daily Cleanliness
Every time an excursion concludes, be sure to wipe down your boat. This should only take about ten minutes and will ensure that the exterior of your boat remains in tip top condition. Additionally, the attention required for optimal maintenance will also help you identify any other potential issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Most of these issues will be fairly simple to fix; however, if left unchecked for lengthy periods of time, they can become much larger problems that considerably drain your resources.
As you can see from this brief list, much of the proper upkeep involved in boat ownership involves ensuring that its various components are adequately maintained and up-to-date. If you happen to suspect that your motor has been compromised or are looking to update the one you currently own, consult with a company that can recommend the best motor for your specific situation. Trust me. A little preventative maintenance now will help you save huge chunks of change in the future.