Summer boating season is right around the corner. If you are one of the 141 million Americans getting ready to hit the water on a boat, it is time to start thinking about taking care of some crucial boat maintenance.
That way your boat will be summer-ready when you need it most. This guide will tell you some helpful tips to get your boat ready for high season.
1. Check and Change Fluids
If your boat has been garaged or has sat somewhere all winter, you must inspect all fluids before taking it out when the weather warms up. If you have winterized your boat, emptying all of the fluids is part of this process.
In this case, you need to add more. If your boat wasn’t winterized, fluids may have gone bad. Either way, you will want to make sure that your boat has new oil at the very least before it’s next voyage.
If your oil is frothy or white in coloration, water has contaminated it and your whole engine may need to be serviced.
Other fluids to keep in mind are power-trim fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and hydraulic steering fluid.
2. Check Engine and Propeller Systems
You should inspect all belts in the engine to make sure they are not dry, cracked, or brittle. Make sure to also inspect any pulleys to make sure they are free of rust, breakage, or corrosion.
Make sure to give your propeller and propeller shaft a once over. This means making sure it does not wobble or rotate in a lopsided fashion. Make sure there is no fishing line caught around your prop and that its blades are not bent.
3. Inspect All Seals
You are going to want to inspect all gaskets, seals, and other components that keep your boat and its critical systems watertight. When in doubt, throw it out. Even a slightly worn seal can cause a critical system failure. Seals are often a cheap fix.
4. Wash and Wax Your Boat
If your boat has been dry-docked for the winter season, dirt and corrosion may have accumulated on its hull. Give it a proper rinse, wash, and wax before sending it out for another voyage.
Not only will this help your boat look great, but it will also preserve it and ensure that it has a long lifetime of use.
5. Develop a Boat Maintenance Routine
There is always something to do on a boat in regards to boat maintenance. Getting yourself into a proper boat maintenance routine is the best way to ensure it all gets done the right way at appropriate intervals.
Things like cleaning your boat need to be done after every use. Other aspects of maintenance like tightening hardware can be done less often, but are still very important.
Thebetterboat.com has excellent guides about many areas of boat maintenance such as cleaning vinyl seats. Use this and other resources to find the ideal maintenance routine for your boat.
Keep a log and consult your owner’s manual when necessary. Don’t fall behind on maintenance, if you do you could compromise the integrity of your vessel and threaten your own safety as an operator.
Get Ready for Summer
If you are a boat owner, your boat may be the focal point of recreation in your life. Treat it as such with a proper boat maintenance routine. That way you can feel confident taking it on your next big trip.
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