Boat Maintenance Tips You Won’t Find in the Manual

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Change the oil frequently, inspect your boat, make sure that
everyone is clear when you launch. You know the typical tips for good boating
and good boating maintenance. But what about the issues that you hear much less
about? If you’ve yet to log much experience on the water—or even if you have—these
lesser known boat maintenance tips should help you to extend the lifespan of
your craft.

Check the propeller
before every launch.

We recommend a “pre-launch” routine of sorts: consider it
like a miniature version of a pre-flight checklist. Add an examination of your
boat’s propeller to this list. Why? Dents and damage can lead to an inefficient
propeller system, which means you’ll burn more fuel than you have to.

The health of your propeller is more important than you
might think. To make sure your propeller is properly taken care of, many boat
owners will tell you the following:

  • Remove and re-attach the propeller throughout
    the boating season to keep it clear of debris
  • When re-attaching the propeller, use grease to
    ensure that it doesn’t get stuck in the future
  • Double-check all attachments before using the
    propeller upon reattachment

Make sure your anchor
is well taken care of and ready to use.

Here, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • The anchor should be stored somewhere where it’s
    not a hazard but can be accessed easily on demand
  • Make sure you have enough slack for the typical
    water conditions in which you frequently boat

For more information, check out the “Semi-annual
checklist” from Discover Boating
.

Build or buy your own
emergency kit.

It’s important to have a specific, dedicated emergency kit
ready to go so it’s available within seconds should you need it. A good start? This
Emergency Repair Kit.
Using Life-Calk® for sealing can help you create an emergency repair patch above and below the waterline on
hulls and more, ensuring that you minimize any damage done to your boat while
you’re underway.

The emergency kit should simply be used as a barrier, a temporary
fix that allows you to get back to the dock safely. You’ll want to immediately
address any boat repair issues you have going on with your hull so that you can
get back to boating that same season.

Inspect your boat
after use.

This is the number one area in which boaters fail. It’s not
because they intend to, but it’s simply because after having all of that fun,
it’s easy to forget a post-launch checklist. Inspect all of the most important
aspects of your boat—like the fuel lines—to ensure there is no damage you
missed while out on the water. You might be surprised at how often you can spot
a problem that you’re able to fix quickly. This prevents long-term damage and
ensures that your boat’s health is steady for a long time to come. 

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