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Navigating Boat Maintenance: Key Steps to Preserving Your Investment

Navigating Boat Maintenance: Key Steps to Preserving Your Investment
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Are you the new owner of a lovely aquatic vehicle? You probably spent a pretty penny on that and you would like to keep it as nice as possible. Boats are investments that if taken care of, can last for quite some time. This article will help you navigate your boat's maintenance so you can preserve your investment.

Why Maintaining Your Boat is Important

There are a few different reasons why maintaining your boat is important. Firstly, if you view it as an investment, you probably want to keep it as nice as possible. Especially if you ever need or want to sell it. Secondly, keeping up with its maintenance is crucial for you and your passengers safety. Proper maintenance helps ensure the boat will function properly so no one is in danger. You will want to come up with some sort of maintenance schedule so that you can stay on top of everything that needs to be done throughout the boat's life.

Semi-Annual Maintenance

Semi-annual maintenance happens every six months and consists of some bigger to do items.. Depending on use, you will want to replace your air filters every 100 miles or six months. You will also want to check the tubes for any cracks, holes, or leaks and make sure they are properly lubricated so that your boat operates as it should. It is also recommended to include a good exterior and interior cleaning every so often to help preserve the look of your boat.

Annual Maintenance

It is recommended to bring your boat in for annual maintenance. These are typically pretty big projects that take a bit more time. This includes things like winterizing and de-winterizing, oil changes, battery replacements and other mechanical work on the engine. A deep clean and detail is recommended at least once a year so that your boat can be kept as pristine as the day you purchased it.

Both semi-annual and annual maintenance are things that you can more than likely do on your own or with the help of some friends if you wish, however, life can be busy and sometimes it is just easier and more convenient to take your boat in – especially if you can afford it.

Winterizing Your Boat

If you live somewhere where the outside temperatures drop below freezing for any amount of time (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit) and have an inboard motor, you will need to winterize your boat. Winterizing is a process of making sure all water in a boat is emptied and refilled with antifreeze to keep it from freezing during the colder months. Similar to your home when they recommend letting your faucets drip because your pipes could freeze and burst, winterizing your boat does the same thing - keeps it from freezing and causing bigger issues down the road.

Washing Your Boat

Washing your boat is part of maintenance but also just nice to do. It is also necessary if want to keep your boat as nice as possible. Much like you take care of your car's exterior and interior, you need to do the same for your boat. Giving it a good wash every now and then will help keep it in great working condition. It also will just make it more enjoyable – after all, who wants to ride in a dirty boat.

Typically people will eat and drink on their boats while they are out on the water. It is inevitable that crumbs or spills will happen. When that happens, it is important to clean up the mess thoroughly; because, much like a house, bugs love left behind messes. Cleaning up after each use will help keep your boat clean in general so it never gets too overwhelming. Basic cleaning supplies will get the job done.

Waxing Your Boat

This goes hand in hand with washing your boat; however, it is an important step to help preserve the exterior of your boat while in and out of the water. It keeps the paint intact and prevents dirt and grime from building up. Waxing is typically done at the beginning or end of the season, but it is recommended to do every three to four months. The wax also adds a protective layer to help with sun fading. PLUS, it is believed that a good wax helps reduce drag and in turn, helps your boat go a little faster across the water – however, there are no statistics, this is just a common thought.

There are many things that come with boat ownership, but maintenance is crucial to protecting your investment and prolonging the life of your vessel. Boats are not cheap, so it is assumed you will want to keep it in as great of condition as possible. Check your owners manual and the manufacturer's instructions to come up with the best schedule for your particular boat's maintenance. It may seem like a lot is required for maintenance, but it is broken up over the season while in and out of use so do not let that keep you from purchasing your dream boat.

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