Boat maintenance for beginners

Boat maintenance, as a whole, is actually quite similar to automobile maintenance. There are a few very basic items that require constant maintenance which the owner normally takes care of, and a few items that require maintenance at regular intervals which some owners deal with but most people leave to the professionals.

Boat Maintenance Checklist:

  1. Engine(s)
  2. The boat’s hull (bottom) and topsides
  3. Electrical systems
  4. Plumbing and HVAC systems (in larger boats)
  5. Moving parts (like hinges, tracks, and zippers)
  6. Canvass and upholstery

The most basic maintenance tasks are simply keeping things clean and, where appropriate, well-lubricated. This has a huge impact on a boat. The fiberglass gel coat, for example, will oxidize and turn chalky if you don’t wash and wax it regularly. So a basic boat hull maintenance chore with any fiberglass boat is washing and waxing.

Dirt that sits on canvass and upholstery allows mold and mildew to attach and grow, so again, regular cleanings are very important. And having a dirty bilge means you may not spot leaking fuel or fluids, and can lead to clogged bilge pumps.

After a day out on the water, other than cleaning the boat and lubricating parts as necessary there aren’t many maintenance tasks you need to worry about. One important task, however, is flushing your engine after boating in saltwater. See Outboard Engine Care and follow your engine manufacturer’s recommendations, to get the low-down on how it’s done (inboard boat motor maintenance is a bit different, but some stern-drive boats have similar flushing requirements).

The one other maintenance chore that should be done after every trip is making a simple visual inspection of all the boat’s systems. If you spot anything wrong, then you can decide whether to tackle the challenge yourself or take the boat in for repairs.

For the full article, see: https://www.discoverboating.com/ownership/maintenance

– Discover Boating

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