Proper Boat Maintenance to Keep Your Boat Afloat
Boating can be an enjoyable yet costly hobby. As such, it is important that you do your part to protect your investment. There can be a variety of things that wreak havoc on a boat. But there are proactive measures you can take to keep your boat afloat.
Keep in mind that boats sink when docked as well as when in open water. The sinking may be caused by weather but can also be the result of poor maintenance. One study found that 39% of boat sinkings are due to parts malfunctioning, while 43% are because the boat hits something while out on the water. As such, you need to implement preventative measures, as much as possible.
1. Check the fittings –
Your boat has numerous holes all below the waterline. These holes are designed for mounting bolts, draining, sensors, valves, and an assortment of other boating actions. As such, you need to check these areas often for any corrosion, cracked seals, and loose screws or clamps. At the first sign of a problem, have repairs made.
2. Proper pieces –
Only use marine-grade parts for any repairs or maintenance. Failing to do so, can result in parts corroding or additional damage to your boat and its moving parts.
3. Frequent inspections –
Before and after every trip spend a few minutes going over the exterior and checking for any dings to the side, propellers, hoses, bellows, and other boat parts. Correcting the small problem will minimize expensive repairs- or a sunk boat later.
4. Get it serviced-
t least once a season, have the boat serviced by a qualified marine technician. This is a good time to have the oil and filters changed and add fluids. Using AMSOIL products will go a long way toward keeping your boat’s mechanical system in top condition. Get your AMSOIL products from your local dealer, The House of Syn.
5. Replace the bellows –
These are the rubber parts of your boat designed to keep water out while allowing sterndrive flexibility. They usually need to be replaced every 2-3 years. Should the bellows get torn, water can enter the boat, and the boat will sink.
6. Check the sea-cocks –
This should be done every 6 months. The bigger your boat, the more of these there are. Common uses for seacocks are the engine, air conditioning, and toilet.
7. Check the cockpit drains –
Periodically, lift the engine and check the cockpit drain. These often collect debris. This debris won’t make the boat sink, but it can cause water build-up which can cause engine corrosion from the outside in.
8. Float switch and the bilge pump –
It is important that you test the automatic float switch. You do this by turning all battery switches off. Then, go to the bilge and look for the pump and float. Depending on the size of the boat there can be several of these, usually located at the back of the boat. Upon activating the float switch, the pump should run until the float moves to its original position. If this doesn’t happen, you will need to test the float manually. In this situation, it is wise to talk with a boat specialist.
Proper boat maintenance is a must if you want to keep your boat on top of the water- and not below the surface! Implement these tips and you can count on many years of fun. Begin your boat care today.