In 2019, there were 11.88 million boats registered in the United States.
If you own one of those boats, then you’ll have to do boat maintenance, but what is a good schedule for it?
Keep reading to discover some of the most important boat issues you’ll avoid by having regular boat maintenance.
You should first check your boating owner’s manual. Most of them will outline the service schedule that you can follow, but if you don’t have the manual anymore, then you can use this guide to help you.
For example, there are some services that you’ll need to do annually, like caring for your engine.
Taking Car of the Engine
You’ll need to change the gearcase lubricant for a boat that has an outboard or sterndrive engine. You’ll also want to change the fuel filter and maybe install some new spark plugs if they’re worn out.
If you take it to a good service shop, they’ll also check the inboard and sterndrive engines. They’ll also replace any anodes that need to be replaced.
If you’re approaching wintertime, you’ll also want to winterize your engine. This process should be in your owner’s manual, but if you’re going to be storing your boat somewhere that has a below-freezing temperature, then you’ll want to flush your cooling system with antifreeze.
This will make sure all of the water is out of the engine so that it doesn’t freeze inside and damage it. Even if you have a closed cooling system, you can still fill it with antifreeze to flush all the water out.
While you can do this yourself, it’s best to let a shop handle it. They’ll be able to combine it with any other annual services that you can get.
In general, you should change the engine oil. You should also change the engine oil filter and fuel filters.
These should be changed every year or every one hundred hours when you run the engine.
Clean Out the Water Tank
The water tanks should be nice and fresh, so you should clean them out every year. When you clean them out, you’ll also get rid of any mildew or mold that could’ve built up.
You can find a specialized cleaning solution that you can use to clean out this tank.
Perform an Inspection
You should hire a mechanic to do the inspection if you don’t have enough knowledge of your boat. You should look at things like rust, through holes, shaft logs, and batteries.
You should also test the winches, pull systems, and handles. This way, you can make sure that they’re not stuck in a certain place.
Get a Safety Check
You want to make sure that your boat is safe to use before you take it out. Set an appointment with the Coast Guard to get a free safety check. You can schedule it in person or even do it all online.
This way, you’ll ensure that your boat adheres to all of the safety regulations.
When you do monthly maintenance, you should wash the exterior of the boat. This will ensure that you keep all of the dirt and salt away so that your gel coat can last longer.
This will make your fiberglass look shinier, but it will also help your boat’s exterior last longer. While you’re cleaning the exterior, you should also clean the interior as well. If you are hanging out on the boat too often, then you’ll want to wipe down and scrape your surfaces.
You should also pump out the waste tank as well. You can do this yourself, but there are also boat mechanics that can do it for you on a monthly schedule.
You’ll also want to make sure that the bilges are dry. You should look below your deck and see what is normal for them so that you can easily identify smaller problems when they do happen.
Lastly, make sure that you check the fluids and also run the engine, especially if you’re not taking that boat out for the month. Run the engines for at least thirty minutes and check the engine and transmission oil. Also, check the coolant levels.
Preventative maintenance should be done before you take your boat out, and you should always wipe everything down to help prevent any corrosion. You’ll also want to use a boat cover to make sure that your boat isn’t exposed to the elements.
You’ll also want to try and flush your engine out regularly so nothing gets stuck in there. When you finish doing that, then you’ll want to look at your water pump as well.
If the flow isn’t very steady, then you might have something inside the outflow tube. If this happens, shut down the engine so you don’t make any more damage to it.
You should also make sure that you get rid of the fuel in the carburetor. You can do this by taking the fuel line out and letting the engine burn out whatever fuel is left. You can make sure that there are no leaks and remove the cowling and look inside.
You’ll also want to add any lubricant to make sure that everything is working properly.
Discover More About How Often You Should Get Boat Maintenance Done
This is only a general boat maintenance schedule that you can follow, but you should follow the general instructions in your owner’s manual.
If you don’t have an owner’s manual, take your boat to a boat mechanic.
If you’re looking for a mechanic near you, make sure that you check out our website!