Proper maintenance can extend the life of your boat, reduce the need for costly repairs, and help ensure the safety of your passengers on the lakes this summer.
Clean and Care for Your Boat
Wash your boat regularly to prevent the long-term effects of environmental wear and tear.
Routine waxing and the use of an anti-fouling paint can also help protect your boat from the elements.
Consider using environmentally-safe products whenever possible! Paint with extra chemicals may end up affecting local waterways and rivers!
Consider a Watercraft Cover
Invest in a cover to keep your boat clean and free from dirt, water, falling leaves and bird droppings, all of which cause damage if left unchecked. A cover can also prevent UV rays from breaking down hoses and fading carpets and upholstery. Sun is definitely a consideration no matter where you live!
Routine Boat Inspections
Proper boat maintenance means being actively involved in, and attuned to, all aspects of your vessel. Keep an eye out for everything from loose fittings to fraying ropes to any other areas of your watercraft that may need special attention or replacement.
Many times, damages incurred to a watercraft could easily have been prevented by following a preventative watercraft maintenance routine.
You can also have a professional vessel inspection. Some locations require it – check online to see if your boat may be subject to one before you put into the water.
Watercraft Battery Care Tips
Depending on the type of battery your boat uses, check to ensure that it is properly charged and that it has the correct fluid levels. Always keep your battery clean, as dampness and dirt can drain your battery.
Flush your engine after every outing, and check everything from your fuel tanks to the clamps on your fuel line for rust, damage or corrosion. Also check your oil for correct levels, proper filtration, and cleanliness. Last, but not least, keep an eye on your engine’s cooling system to make sure it’s functioning correctly.
A crucial aspect of boat maintenance is ensuring that your bilge pump is functioning properly. There’s not much that can cause more irreparable damage to a boat than having it sink! In the event that you need to use your pump, you’ll want to make sure that your battery system contains enough power to run the pump for a prolonged period of time.
Many boating failures occur as a result of corroded electrical systems, so keeping electrical components dry should be a regular part of your watercraft maintenance routine. Electrical fittings can be protected with a water-repellant, non-conductive grease or corrosion inhibitor.
Boat maintenance doesn’t only mean paying attention to your boat when you’re actively using it during the warm weather months, Chicago – you also need to be sure to protect your watercraft through an effective winterization routine.
"Stay in the Know" Courses
Last but not least, responsible boat maintenance means taking the time to familiarize yourself with all aspects of watercraft care. Consult your owner’s manual for in-depth guidelines.
If you’re new to boating, your boat dealer may know of helpful boat safety and training courses that deal specifically with your type of boat. And while it’s always important to take the time to learn how to do things yourself, don’t be afraid to seek the help of professionals when needed.
Saturday, September 9, 2017 at 12:30pm CDT
These are helpful tips for boat care. We are looking at buying a boat, but since we’ve never had one before, we wanted to make sure the maintenance was doable. Why does the engine need to be flushed every time it’s used?
Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 2:03pm CDT
Thanks for the tip about checking your engine for proper filtration and oil levels. I’m hoping that I can get my outboard motor looked at before I start boating for the season. I’ve noticed that it seems a bit rusty, so I definitely want to get it checked out.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at 2:20am CDT
You were right that watercraft damage could easily be prevented by performing preventative maintenance. This is the reason why my dad is gathering supplies to be used on the boat. He intend to check the vessel once or twice a month and perform necessary repairs when needed.
James Varhall [V.P. Personal Lines at Blue Valley Insurance]
Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at 8:04am CDT
Thank you for sharing your experience and feedback on my boat article. I am glad to hear that you found my suggestion of performing preventative maintenance helpful, and it’s great to know that your dad is taking action to keep his vessel in good condition.
Regular checks and repairs can certainly help prevent damage to your boat, and it’s always better to catch any potential issues early before they turn into bigger problems. By gathering supplies and performing maintenance tasks on a regular basis, your dad is taking proactive steps to ensure his boat stays in top shape and ready for any adventure on the water.
As an insurance agent, I can also say that keeping your boat well-maintained can potentially lower insurance costs and help you avoid any unexpected expenses due to damage. Taking responsible approach to boat ownership can pay dividends.
Thank you again for your comment, and I wish you and your dad many happy and safe boating adventures.
James Varhall [V.P. Personal Lines at Blue Valley Insurance]
Thursday, June 16, 2022 at 3:18pm CDT
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 5:59pm CST
I really liked your boat maintenance ideas! I just recently finished repairing my boat’s stern drive, and have been trying to think of ways to keep my boat in good shape. I really liked your idea of doing routine boat inspections. I think that if I do this, I’ll be able to catch a lot of problems before they happen! I’ll make sure to inspect my boat regularly from now on. Thanks for the tips!
Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 12:23pm CDT
I like your tip to wash your boat regularly to prevent wear and tear. If you’re using you boat in saltwater, this is extremely important. If you don’t clean the boat, the salt could cause lots of problem just sitting on your boat.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019 at 9:57pm CDT
Thanks for saying to flush your engine after every outing. My buddy’s engine seems to have gone kaput. He’s thinking of getting a custom fuel tank for his boat.