Having a boat means hours of fun spent on the water, but it also means understanding the unique maintenance needs to keep it in ship shape. Check out these basic marine maintenance tips to keep yourself running smoothly.
Boats, ships, and other aquatic vehicles have many of the same basic parts as cars but have many other parts that are unique to operating on the water. Knowing where you can get replacement marine parts like propellers, anchors, docking fenders, and others is important, as these items may not be as readily available as similar products for cars, especially if you live in an area where water sports aren’t common.
Make sure you understand the appropriate maintenance schedule for things like oil changes or filter replacements, just like you would for your car.
Sure, your boat is sitting in water the vast majority of the time, but you shouldn’t consider your daily dolphin cruise a substitute for a dedicated wash. Substances like sand and dirt that get on your boat’s surfaces make it easier for mildew and molds to form, which can lead to expensive replacements of upholstery and carpeting. Many modern boats are made of fiberglass protected by a gel finish that needs regular washing and waxing to keep it looking its best.
When washing your boat, look for biodegradable soaps and cleaning products that won’t damage the marine environment.
If you live in an area that experiences the full range of seasons, you’ll want to make sure your boat’s systems are protected for the winter. Winterization can mean draining fuel, removing electronics, and purchasing a weather protective cover to keep your hull and hatches from cracking.
Your boat is a major investment. Understanding how to care for it will help keep it afloat for years to come.