Fishing gets a boat dirty!
Saltwater is a harsh environment that takes its toll even on the highest quality materials available today. Every boat needs to be taken care of in the best possible way to ensure proper and safe operation. It is true that boats are designed to withstand tough use and unforgiving environments but they also need adequate maintenance and upkeep.
Washing and Drying
The most basic of all tips is washing and drying your boat properly after each use. It is very important to flush your engine with fresh water and rinse out all fiberglass and stainless steel components to prevent discoloration, rust, and deterioration.
Flushing your engine ensures all saltwater from inside cavities is drained out and prevents clogging of cooling components and corrosion of electric and mechanical components.
Drying after every wash and especially before covering your boat is key. If a boat is covered without drying it properly, the humidity will take its toll in the form of mildew, stains, and corrosion. Whenever possible leave all hatches and storage compartments open until dry before covering up your boat for storage.
Check for Loose Nuts and Bolts!
Check for loose nuts and bolts! Boats vibrate. Vibration causes everything to get loose. This is an item that is commonly overlooked by boat owners. We all believe boats are built to withstand anything but without proper care, their materials will degrade at a faster rate. It is recommended after every use to ensure proper tightness of important components like engine bolts and t-top hardware. These two components are affected greatly by the pounding and vibration on each use. Loose nuts and bolts can cause damage to the fiberglass, stress cracks and even cracks to the aluminum or stainless steel hardware. Be sure to keep all nuts and bolts properly tightened.
Keep Seacock Valves Lubricated and Clean!
One of the safety tool’s that is often overlooked is a seacock valve. Every thru hull your boat has installed has a seacock valve that can be used to close water entry if any damage occurs to any saltwater hose. Because these valves do not get used often they seize up and you don’t notice this until you need the valve to stop water from rushing in! It is important to clean, lubricate and use your valves often to prevent seizing and malfunction.
Always use the best quality, non-ethanol fuel available. This will prevent any damage to fuel hoses and components. Paying a bit more at the pump might save you thousands of dollars for repairs from ethanol damage. Ethanol gas will slowly but surely take a toll on your engine. It is good practice to use rec-90 only to prevent failures.
In conclusion, any boat is an investment that requires special care to maintain optimal performance. Plus, this type of regular maintenance might save you and your boat from an unpleasant experience. If you have additional questions on this subject, please submit your questions in the comment section.