By learning more about boat maintenance processes, you can extend the longevity of your boat and protect your investment. Should you fail to manage the upkeep of your vessel, you will likely face additional damages that can lead to costly repairs and reduce your boat’s overall value and longevity. Moreover, the lack of proper maintenance may impact your boat safety in a negative way.
Boat Maintenance That Should be Performed on Each Outing
The most important boat maintenance steps involve cleaning your boat and ensuring that it remains well-lubricated. As such, choosing the right boat cleaner is an essential step in ensuring that your boat does not rust or that mildew and mold do not become attached to the vessel. The cleaner that you should use will depend on the type of boat that you own, as boats can be constructed out of several different materials.
When it comes to boat cleaners, you are strongly encouraged to review your owner’s manual in order to determine the type of material that your boat was made from. Additionally, it is important to wax your boat regularly, especially if it constructed out of materials like fiberglass.
These simple boat maintenance steps should be performed after each outing on the water. Should you fail to keep your boat clean and free of dirt and grime, you could face costly repairs. In fact, most boat repair expenses are due to a lack of maintenance on a vessel. For example, having a dirty bilge can lead to clogged bilge pumps.
Just like a fishing trip checklist, you must take certain maintenance procedures into consideration. As an example, it is important to take the following steps before and after an outing:
- Check your engine fuel. Running your boat’s engine on low fuel can result in serious engine damage that can lead to expensive repairs. Depending on your boat, you may need to check your engine’s fuel level while the engine is cooled or while at operating temperatures. You can check your engine’s fuel level by removing the top cowl, removing and wiping down the dipstick, putting the dipstick back into the engine and removing it again to check the oil level. If your boat has a two-stroke engine, you will need to check your reservoir.
- Check your engine’s water flow. Because an overheated engine can seize up, you should check your engine’s water flow before every outing. Additionally, you should ensure that water is not getting into your fuel tank by inspecting your canister for water, which will settle at the bottom.
- Flush your vessel’s engine after each use. Failing to flush your engine can lead to salt or brackish water buildup, which will corrode an engine’s internal components. This is particularly applicable to saltwater boats.
Annual Boat Repair and Maintenance
Annual boat maintenance is essential in keeping your vessel running smoothly. Annual boat care includes changing the engine oil, lubricating fittings and painting the hull bottom. All of these maintenance and repair procedures should generally be left to the professionals. However, you may consult your owner’s manual to determine the level of annual maintenance that should be performed on your boat.
Winterizing a De-Winterizing Boat Maintenance
Depending on where you live, outboard motor maintenance may include weatherization and de-weatherization techniques at certain times of the year. Common weatherization procedures that should be performed include:
- Change your engine oil and lower the unit lube.
- Flush and drain the boat’s engine.
- Fog your boat’s engine.
- Replace the water pump impeller, if necessary.
Additional boat maintenance will be needed to de-weatherize a vessel once the weather warms up. The most important de-weatherization procedure you will need to commit to involves checking your boat’s fuel hose for any leaks and bulges. In general, bulges or soft spots are signs of imminent engine failure.
You can check your fuel hose for leaks and bulges by running a rag over each hose and then sniffing the rag to detect any fuel leaks. Even if your fuel hoses look fine, it is also important to replace hoses at least once every ten years.
How much does boat maintenance and detailing cost?
The cost of a maintenance boat mechanic is far lower than serious repairs that are required after failing to perform the proper maintenance techniques on your vessel. Boat motor repair and annual fees may vary based on the type of vessel that you own, as well as how often you use the boat. As a general rule of thumb, maintenance costs do not exceed 10 percent of the cost of a boat.
What are the options for boat storage near me?
In addition to performing boat maintenance, it is important to store your boat properly while it is not in use. Depending on where you live, you may have various options for doing so, including dry storage, indoor storage and outdoor storage. Before asking, “Where can I find boat storage near me?” it is worth taking the time to learn more about each storage option in order to know the type that makes sense for your needs.
Dry boat storage is relatively popular as it is generally one of the cheapest options. Prices typically fluctuate depending on the area, but there are generally a variety of dry storage locations that a person can choose from. Most dry storage options keep boats fairly protected from theft or vandalism, as all the vessels are stored in gated properties. On the other hand, these storage areas are typically outdoors, which may pose certain risks as your boat is exposed to bad weather.
More often than not, indoor boat storage is more expensive than dry storage. However, in most cases, this option provides the same levels of protection against vandalism and theft. It is important to note that if you have a garage on your property, you may already have access to indoor boat storage for free, as you may be able to store your boat inside your garage.
Finally, many boat owners choose to store their vessels on the water in year-round boat storage facilities that are located along harbors. These popular storage options can be used around the year, regardless of where you live, due to the bubblers and propeller de-icers that protect the boats from ice buildup and damage.
How much will boat storage near me cost?
If asking, “Where can I find outdoor or indoor boat storage near me?” you may also be wondering about the cost that you can expect to store your vessel when it is not in use. The exact cost of boat storage can vary widely based on where you live and the size of your vessel. Based on these factors, the cost of storage can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.
Unless you own a garage where your boat fits, be mindful that indoor storage options and on-the-water offerings are typically the most expensive. Therefore, it is important to shop around in order to determine the best price in your area for your preferred storage method.