Owning a boat is a big investment, so you want to make sure you take good care of it. Here’s a few easy tips for boat maintenance to ensure you keep her good as new!
Splish splash – take a bath!
The most important part of boat maintenance is washing your boat after every use to remove salty residue. Saltwater will corrode the metal and the finishes on your boat, fibreglass gel coat will oxidise and turn chalky, and the salt can even stain the glass if not properly cleaned off.
To wash your boat properly, you should only use detergents and washes specifically for boats. Avoid strong, chlorinated cleanser as they are too abrasive. Spray from the hose or use a soft bristled brush for scrubbing and you’ll keep your boat looking good as new!
It’s also important to clean the inside. Dirt that sits on canvass and upholstery allows mould and mildew to attach and grow, so regularly clean seats as well.
Remember the good oils!
Just like with your car, changing your boat’s oil is crucial to good maintenance. As a rough guide, your boat’s oil should be changed after every 100 hours of operation; and always use an oil that is specifically geared for your type of boat.
Proper propeller care
Each time you come off the water, check your boat over for bumps or dents, and you’ll want to pay careful attention to the propeller. Propeller cleaning is important as marine growth and grime can build up on the propeller and affect the performance; as well as have a negative impact on fuel efficiency. Every now and then it’s advised you remove the propeller and check that fishing line or other materials haven’t become wound around the shaft.
Flushing your engine after boating in saltwater is important. If your outboard has a flushing port, it’s a simple process:
- Connect a garden hose to the port.
- Turn on the water.
- Let the engine flush for five to ten minutes.
If it has no flushing port, you’ll need to purchase a set of flushing muffs that will connect to the motor and allow you to flush it.
You regularly service your car, and should do the same for your boat. A lot of boat dealers will have a service centre or can advise on a place to go; or you may like to stick with a service centre relevant to your brand of motor or boat.
It doesn’t take much to maintain your boat, but it’s well worth the effort so you can enjoy more time out on the water!