How to Maintain Your Boat

Whether your boat is big or small, basic of luxurious as all get out, there is one thing your boat is absolutely going to need. And that’s maintenance. 

If you’re looking to keep your boat happy and make sure that major repairs are not needed in the future, proper maintenance is a great way to achieve that goal. In the long run, small maintenance jobs will put of major fixes for many years. 

Wash your boat regularly. 

This is an incredibly important to be your boat clean and wash off any corrosive materials. If you boat in saltwater, make sure to rinse your boat off thoroughly with fresh water after every outing to remove salt residue. 

Use soaps and cleaners specifically meant for boats. 

Grit, grime and salt can eat away at your boats finish over time, to keep that from happening make sure to use soap and cleaners that are specifically meant for boats. 

Change your boat’s oil regularly.

Anyone from the best boat club in central Florida will tell you that changing your boat’s oil regularly is a crucial way to improve your boat’s health and keep its lifespan long. Four-stroke outboards, inboards and stern drive boats require regular oil changes. While the frequency will vary depending on the model you own, a good rule is to change the oil every 100 hours of operation. You can also be safe and just change the oil at least one time per year. 

Check your propeller before you launch.

As part of your pre-launch check, make sure to check your propeller. This is absolutely necessary if you have an outboard or a stern drive boat. You’ll need a deep socket to make sure that the propeller nut is securely in place. 

It is also worth it to remove the propeller entirely several times during the boating season to make sure that no trash like discarded fishing like has become wrapped around the shaft. If you find that there is a fishing line, it is wise to take your boat to a trusted mechanic to make sure that it has not also entered the gear-case. Fishing line in a gear-case can cause serious links and is not a do-it-yourself job if you are not a mechanic. 

Look for propeller damage. 

When you have your propeller off, it is smart to take the time to check for other types of damage such as nicks, dents or major scratches. It’s fine if a propeller has chipped or damage paint, but you should send it out for repair if you see any structural damage to the propeller. 

Even the smallest dent can lead to a dip in performance by up to 10 percent and will lead to your boat burning more fuel than normal. 

Make sure to liberally grease the propeller shaft with waterproof grease. 

As you re-install your propeller onto your boat, make sure that you put the hardware on in the same order that you took it off. You should also be sure to re-tighten the propeller nut to the specifications of your manufacturer’s manual. If you have an outboard, do not forget to put a new cotter pin in as well.

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