A new boat is an exciting thing. If you want to keep your boat in top condition, you’ll have some maintenance to do. While a boat can be more complicated than a car in some aspects, there are ways to keep things simple with the right tips. Here are some essential boat maintenance tips for new boaters.
Wash Your Boat Regularly
Washing your boat regularly isn’t just about keeping it free of debris. It’s also about preventing problems like mildew, oxidation, and staining. This is especially important if you have a boat that’s regularly in salt water. In that case, washing your boat thoroughly and rinsing with fresh water will help prevent the damage that salt water tends to add over time.
One maintenance tips for new boaters that is often looked over is that any old soap or cleaner WON’T do the job properly. A specialty boat cleaner that’s designed specifically for your boat assures that you won’t be using harsh chemicals that could harm the marine environment. We recommend Boat Cleaner from BoatLIFE!
Consider Changing the Oil Yourself
Even if you don’t change your car’s oil yourself, changing the oil on your boat can actually be an easier process. It will help ensure that your boat runs at maximum efficiency. Handling oil changes yourself will help ensure that you don’t spend too much on boat maintenance.
To start, make sure the boat is in a safe place. You’ll want to consult your engine’s manual, but the essential steps are to work with a warmed-up boat, remove the drain plug, change the filter, replace the drain plug, and fill the engine with new oil. You can even do this before cleaning your boat to keep things simple.
Maintain the Propeller With Regular Inspection
There’s one area on your boat you should never take for granted: the propeller. This is where the machinery of the boat meets the marine environment. If there’s any damage to your propeller, it will affect everything you do.
When you inspect the propeller, keep in mind that it’s supposed to look pristine. Small nicks and dents in the propeller can reduce the overall efficiency of your boat, costing you more in fuel and other maintenance costs over time. If there are nicks or dings, make sure you send the propeller out for repair.
Propeller maintenance is pretty simple if it remains in good shape. You can apply waterproof grease to the propeller and re-assemble it in the opposite direction, reversing the steps with which you disassembled the propeller from the motor.
Know Everything You Need to Keep Running
In some ways, maintaining a boat is as straight-forward as maintaining a car. But it helps to know what other aspects to boating you need to keep in shape, as you might not be used to handling these. That includes:
- The radio. Regularly check the stations and ensure that the radio has power.
- You need to have lifejackets to suit as many people as you plan on having on your boat.
- The bilge pump. If you don’t have a bilge pump working, you’ll find yourself in need of a bucket in a hurry. Here’s how to install a bilge pump.
- Clean hull. You don’t have to keep your car clean to keep it moving efficiently, but a clean hull is integral to the quality with which your boat glides through the water. Here’s how to clean your boat hull in the water.
Want more ways to ensure that your boat remains in pristine condition? Be sure to browse our boat care blog for great guides and tips!