If you are new to owning a boat, you might be excited to take it out as often as possible, but don't forget about maintenance. By taking good care of your boat, you help it to last longer without needing extensive repairs. Here are some basic maintenance tips to keep in mind when you own a boat.
Wash the Boat Regularly
First of all, you need to make sure you keep your boat as clean as possible. You should be washing it inside and out on a regular basis. This is especially important if it is being used in saltwater, since the salt can corrode the boat's structure and lead to rust if it is left on the surface for too long. Fresh water is the best thing to rinse a boat with when it comes in contact with salt. Even if you are using it in fresh water, rinsing and washing the boat is important. You can get a boat brush made with soft bristles that allows you to scrub away dirt, debris and grime from the boat. Combine this with gentle soap and warm water to get it clean.
Pay Attention to the Motor
The motor of your boat also needs to be kept in good condition and inspected regularly. This tends to be one of the more common problem areas that might eventually need repairs if you ignore it. Inspect the various components of the motor regularly, looking for signs of wear, corrosion or rust. Checking your boat's oil level and condition also helps to keep the motor running efficiently. On a routine basis, have a professional inspect the motor and the cooling system of the boat to see if any repairs need to be done. They can also provide routine servicing of the boat to make sure it will keep running smoothly.
Monitor the Battery
Your boat most likely has a battery as well, which also needs some inspection and maintenance. Some boats do have a maintenance-free battery, which means you don't need to do much with it until it has to be replaced. Otherwise, make sure you pay close attention to the fluid level of the battery. Check it before and after each boating trip so you know the status and can add fluid as needed.
Check the Propellers
Don't forget about the propellers! These sit in water while using and storing the boat if it is being stored in a local harbor. You need to check the propellers regularly, make minor repairs as needed and clean them thoroughly. They will get a lot of debris, buildup and salt on them, so be sure to rinse them and remove any signs of rust you find.