Whether someone owns a boat or has plans to take out a boat loan and buy one, they should know that boats require maintenance, just like cars and other vehicles. After spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a boat, they must familiarize themselves with what they can do to keep it running smoothly. Here are six boat maintenance tips to keep in mind.
1. Use the Boat
Yes, using the boat is important. Not only does taking a boat out on the water allow for frequent rinsing, but it also keeps the boat’s engine running smoothly. Plus, boat owners get the chance to spot stains, marks, and other damage before they become more difficult and costly to fix.
2. Wash the Boat
When boat owners wash their boats regularly with a mild soap and water mixture, they do more than remove debris. Washes also prevent common issues like stains, mildew, and oxidation. If using their boat in saltwater, regular washes help reduce the risk of the damage that salt water can cause over time.
3. Clean the Boat’s Upholstery
Boat seats, just like the outside of a boat, are prone to damage. That’s why owners should clean boat seats often. While there are many options for doing so, a quality vinyl cleaner made for upholstery is ideal. Boat owners can apply it with a spray bottle and let it set in for a few minutes. Then, they should use a soft brush or cloth to work it into the seat before removing the excess with a clean towel.
4. Change the Boat’s Oil
Check and monitor the oil and filter constantly. Ideally, owners should change the oil every 50 hours of operation or every four months, whichever comes first. If a boat owner is unsure which oil to use, they should read their owner’s manual to find out what their manufacturer recommends. Frequent oil changes can reduce the risk of breakdowns and extend the life of the boat’s engine.
5. Charge the Boat’s Battery
If the boat features a battery-powered motor, it’s essential to keep the battery charged. While this might sound obvious, many boaters forget to charge their batteries when they head out on the water. In addition to charging the battery, boat owners must check their battery regularly to make sure it’s free of damage or erosion.
6. Cover the Boat
A boat cover can do wonders for the look and lifespan of a boat. Covers protect the boat from the rain, snow, and sun when it’s not in use and dust and grit while it’s being towed. Even though there are plenty of generic covers on the market, a custom cover made to fit the boat’s exact measurements is ideal. A tighter, better fit ensures optimal protection from all the elements.
The Bottom Line
A boat is a significant investment. To get the most out of a boat, it’s vital to keep the boat in top shape through consistent use, cleaning, and care. Boat owners who follow these tips can avoid premature wear and tear and dangerous situations down the road.
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