Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tips for Maintaining your Boat in Mint Condition

Boating is a fun activity. Nothing is a relaxing and liberating as being on the open waters. If you are a first time boat owner, the most important thing you need to know about boating is maintaining your boat.

Wash the boat regularly
Washing your boat is very important, especially if you boat in saltwater. You need to rinse the boat with fresh water first to remove all the salt residue because it will prevent the cleaning agents from being effective. Salt from saltwater boating also corrodes fasteners and metals on your boat. You should find the right cleaning agent for the gel coat. You can also use carwash soap to clean your boat.

Change the oil
Boat engines run quite similar to car engines. You need to check and change the oil as frequently as you use the boat.  In most case, you will need to change the oil after every 100 hours of use. If you do not use the boat very often, you may need to change the oil only once a year. To change the oil, you will need an oil extractor pump that can remove all the old oil through the dipstick tube. Replace new oil in the fill port when you are sure you have gotten all the old oil out. In case your engine has a drain tube, then you do not have to get the pump. You can refer to the manufacturer’s manual to take the boat to a service shop for the engine change.

Make sure to use marine grade oils since boat engines work much harder than car engines. You cannot use automotive oil on your boat.

Check the propellers before launching
Outboard or stern drive boats have propellers that rotate in the water to move the boat. The spinning movement of the propeller often entangles a lot of items that can cause it to jam up in future. Your propeller can end up wrapped in old fishing nets, fishing lines, water vegetation and other debris floating in the water. Make sure you inspect your propellers for any dents or damage as it could affect the boat’s performance and cause it to use more fuel when running. In case you notice anything obstructing the propeller or propeller shaft, call a technician to handle the repairs.

You also need to grease the propeller shaft to maintain a smooth rotating motion throughout the drive. You need to use special waterproof grease, which is more effective under water. You have to remove the propeller blades to grease properly but make sure you put everything back the same way you took it out.

Leave the hard work to the professionals
Unless you are a DIY enthusiast who has done this before, you should leave all the repair work to the professionals. Most vehicle owners will approach the boat engine similar to a car engine when there are numerous differences and this can put your safety at risk. In case of any problems with running the boat, call a qualified technician to trouble shoot and repair.

Posted by: Stowaway Marine