If you own a boat, you already know the importance of proper maintenance. By tackling these tasks, you can keep your vessel in optimal condition. Some maintenance items should be done weekly, while you can tend to others at the start or end of the season. Many owners perform maintenance on a schedule. By keeping up on the maintenance, these owners are rewarded when it comes time to sell the boat. Here are a few tips to properly care for your boat.
What To Know About Boat Maintenance
Fortunately, it is pretty easy to maintain your boat. While some owners hate the idea of maintaining their boat themselves, it can help you to learn more about your vessel. During those maintenance sessions, you can have a deeper connection to your boat and learn to appreciate every inch of it. As a result, you will become a better boat owner.
Think of maintenance as an act of love. With that, the boat will last longer and perform better in the water. Plus, if you ever want to sell your boat, you can get top dollar for a well-maintained yacht. It is also important to log your maintenance and save all invoices and receipts so you can get credit for the work you’ve done when you are ready to sell.
Check the Engine
As you already know, it is vital to maintain the health of your boat’s engine. You can’t enjoy time on the water without a properly working machine. When you keep your engine in optimal shape, you can have years of good times with the boat. You should expect to have service done on the engine about every year or one hundred hours. During the annual maintenance, at a minimum, change the oil and filter. You might also want to replace the engine’s lubricants. Belts and spark plugs can be replaced on an as-needed basis but should be inspected for wear every season.
Many owners choose to conduct this maintenance at the end of the boating season, especially if they plan to put it in storage. With this schedule, your boat will be ready to go for the upcoming season. However, if you use your boat throughout the year, think about scheduling this maintenance annually.
Remember that these services are not inexpensive. The cost of an annual engine maintenance can range from $250 to $500, depending on what’s done. You should think about taking the boat to a professional repair shop for the best results.
Don’t think that you are finished with just one maintenance visit. You always want to be on the lookout for other issues, such as cracked hoses. Take a few minutes to check the oil and propeller. You might even want to flush your engine if you have traveled in saltwater. All these steps can keep your engine in proper working order.
Conduct a Little Hull Maintenance
You should be performing regular hull maintenance to include thru-hull inspections as well. Most boats have a fiberglass hull, and you will want to preserve the appearance of the gel coat by applying a little wax and keeping it polished. Don’t use any toxic chemicals, or they could pollute the water, or damage the boat’s finish. In many cases, boat owners will polish the hull at least twice a year, usually in the spring and at the end of the season. Inspecting the thru-hulls for cracks on an annual basis will prevent potential unwanted water intrusion.
Even if you are not waxing and polishing, you need to be on the watch for any signs of wear and tear. When you see a problem, make sure to get it fixed, or you could have bigger issues down the line. Remember, small problems can become big issues over time, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of them.
Keep Up on Plumbing and Electrical
Another essential part of your boat are the batteries. The start battery will start your engine and the house batteries control other components of the vessel. Like a car battery, you need to check the power and charge several times a year. Over time, the batteries can degrade, leaving you stranded. You should plan on replacing the batteries about every two to three years, depending on the life expectancy from the type of batteries used.
Don’t forget to perform regular maintenance for those boats with running water. You never want to deal with a broken pump or cracked hoses while out on the water. You can reduce many problems with regular maintenance.
In addition to that, check out the bilge pump of your boat. If this component is not properly maintained, your boat could end up sinking. Bilge pumps should be inspected about twice a year, especially the float switch. You might want to add a second bilge pump to your boat for some peace of mind.
Perform Deck Maintenance
While deck maintenance is not as necessary as other chores, you still want the deck areas to look their best. Take some time to rinse and wipe down those spaces, especially after every use. A good rule of thumb is about every couple of weeks is to do a deep clean of the entire vessel, including bilges. At the very least, a good freshwater rinse after every use is necessary. Another prudent thing is to check your deck hardware every few years. Loose hardware and missing caulk can lead to moisture penetration and damage to the deck.
You should give other spaces some love, like the helm and seating areas. If you have any vinyl or teak, you need to maintain those materials. Take time to rub down the vinyl with a marine-grade cleaner to help keep its luster and clean and oil the teak. With that, you can expect them to last for many years.
Always Maintain Your Boat
These tips might seem like a lot of hard work, but they will pay off in the end. If you want the best boat at the dock, you need to take care of it. These tasks will make a difference in the performance and appearance of your vessel. When you are ready to hit the water, chances are it will look and perform great. Plus, it can help retain the value. With boat ownership, maintenance is a vital part of the process. Don’t ever skip any of these essential steps. As previously mentioned, it’s important to log your maintenance and save all invoices and receipts so you can get credit for all the work you’ve done when you are ready to sell.
Sell Your Boat With a Professional Team
After you have spent years maintaining your boat, you might want to sell it. Well-maintained boats are big sellers on the market. When it comes time to list it, you don’t want to deal with the hassles of the selling process. Reach out to Yacht Brokers of Annapolis. Our team has the experience to find the right buyer for your boat or yacht. You can schedule a consultation by calling 410-206-2755.