No matter what the size of your boat is, you need to stay on top of its maintenance. Taking the time to perform small repairs and regular maintenance goes a long way in preserving your boat’s condition.
Keep it Clean
Keeping your boat clean is especially important if you use it in saltwater. Allowing the salt to stay on your boat corrodes fasteners, metal, and other critical hardware components. Rinse off your boat when you return to store with fresh water. Use soap designed for marine purposes to get the best results. It’s OK to use car wash soap in a pinch if you don’t have any marine boat wash.
Examine the Propeller
Check the propeller regularly if you have a stern drive boat or an outboard. Remove the propeller completely and remove any fishing line you may have picked up on your travels. You might need to visit a dealer if you do have trapped fishing line because it can lead to gear case leaks, which is something that requires a bit more boat knowledge. Ensure your propeller doesn’t have nicks, bumps, or dents because the slightest imperfection can drastically impact fuel mileage and decrease overall performance. Last but not least, apply grease along the shaft to prevent corrosion and prevent it from seizing up.
Perform Regular Oil Changes
Your boat needs regular oil changes just like your car. Each manufacturer offers its own recommendations, but a general rule to follow is to change your boat’s oil for every 100 hours of operation. You have two options when changing your oil. You can either take it somewhere like a San Diego yacht service business or perform the task yourself. It’s not too difficult to do as long as you have the right tools. To change your boat’s oil you’ll need:
- Plenty of rags
- An oil extractor pump
- Oil wrench
- Absorbent pad to place under the engine (optional)
Follow these steps to change your oil:
- Start your engine and allow it to run for five minutes to warm up
- Remove the dipstick and put your oil extractor suction tube in its place and pump your oil out.
- Wrap a rag around the oil filter and take it out using your oil wrench. Put oil on the sealing gasket and put the new filter in.
- Pour your new oil into your boat through the fill port with a cap labeled “oil.”