Boat maintenance tips to keep your vessel clean
Big or small, basic or souped up, there is one thing every Boat needs. Maintenance! Fortunately, routine maintenance and even small repairs aren’t that tough. And in the long run, a little elbow grease will definitely pay off. Follow these steps to avoid costly repairs later.
Steps to maintain your Boat
- Wash your boat regularly. Ensure to rinse your vessel with fresh water after each outing, particularly if you navigate in saltwater, to eliminate salt residue.
- Use soaps and cleaners made just for boats to protect your vessels finish.
- Regularly change the oil: Four-stroke outboards, inboards, and stern drive boats require routine oil changes. The frequency may vary depending on the model, but a general guideline is to change the oil every 100 hours of operation or at least once a year.
- Check the propeller as part of your pre-launch routine (If you have an outboard or stern drive boat). Use a deep socket to make sure the propeller nut is secure.
- Remove the propeller several times during the season to make sure discarded fishing line hasn’t become wrapped around the propeller shaft. If it has, have your dealer inspect the gear-case, because fishing line can cause gear-case leaks and gear-case service is ”not” a do-it-yourself job.
- While you have the propeller off, inspect it for nicks, dents and other signs of damage. It’s OK if your prop is missing paint, but send it out for repairs if you find signs of impact. The smallest dent can cause your boat to lose 10% of performance and will burn more fuel than normal.
- Put a liberal amount of waterproof grease on the propeller shaft and re-install the propeller and hardware in the same order that you took them off, and tighten the propeller nut to the manufacturers specifications. Do NOT forget to put a new cotter pin in if you have an outboard.