Just like your car needs regular maintenance in order to improve the length of life and efficiency, your boat should also be put on a regular maintenance schedule. If you aren’t careful to look for signs of wear and tear, you could be facing more serious repairs than you have the time or money to deal with. Here is a checklist to guide you through your boat maintenance.
Every few outings, you should look over the engine carefully. Pay attention to signs of cracked hoses, which should be replaced immediately. Look for signs of rust or corrosion, and make sure your outboard motor is securely fastened in place.
Without the propeller, your boat will struggle in areas of performance and fuel economy. Before you take your boat on the water, make sure your propeller nut is secure. Keep a socket wrench on hand in order to tighten it if needed. Small dents along the propeller could also cause you to burn extra fuel. A few times a year, you need to remove the propeller completely to make sure nothing has gotten tangled around the shaft and to grease the shaft.
The Fluid Levels
Whether or not your boat is equipped with Wema Kus level senders, you need to monitor all the tanks and fluid levels before you head for open water. The gas level is a priority, but checking your oil, coolant, and steering fluid is also critical to the boat’s operation.
The battery is the center of your boat’s power. Without it, your engine won’t be able to start and your electrical components won’t operate. Have your battery checking at least once a year, but more frequently during boating season. Over time, a battery will naturally degrade, so don’t forget about it. You can clean the connections with a wire brush to prevent corrosion build-up.
The Bilge Pump
On the bottom of the boat is the bilge pump. This is the equipment that removed water from the bilge, effectively keeping you from sinking. Check the pump hoses for debris, as a clog could keep the pump from working correctly. You may also want to think about adding a backup bilge pump.
The Electrical Lines
If the electrical lines aren’t in good condition, your boat may not stay up and running efficiently. However, lines that have deteriorated create a fire hazard. Keep lines clean and free from loose connections or frays in order to reduce the risk of fire.
Keeping your boat in good condition will help you enjoy your time on the water while staying safe. Neglecting maintenance issues could lead to costly repairs and getting stuck on land.