Boat owners, like boats, come in many different types. Whether they’re a keen fisherman, a weekend warrior, or they’ve been around boats all their life, they’re sure to have one thing in common. A passion for boating and being on the open water.
If you’re new to the world of boating, or you’ve only recently acquired a boat, it’s possible you may not yet be up to speed with all of the different things that proper boat maintenance entails. This is an important part of boat ownership, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked, both for the wellbeing of the boat and the safety of its passengers.
Luckily, you have this handy guide to fill you in on everything you need to know. Read on for a comprehensive boat maintenance checklist that’s sure to come in handy.
Let’s start from the outside in. The hull of the boat is a vitally important component, acting as it does as the first line of defense between everything contained within and the water without. It’s necessary to thoroughly inspect the hull to ensure it’s fit for use.
Check to ensure the hull is showing no signs of rust, cracks, or leaks. You should also make sure to wash it with pH-balanced soap and wax or paint it regularly.
2. Canvass and Upholstery
The next thing to inspect will be any canvass, upholstery, and other furnishings that you may have on board. The main thing to check for here is any signs of mold or mildew.
If you do spot these, deep cleaning with a vinegar and water solution will be necessary. Otherwise, a simple wipe down will suffice.
We now make our way to the boat’s internal workings, starting with the mechanics. Check the boat’s spark plugs, fluid levels, belts, cables, and hose. You should also perform a check on the engine and propeller at this time. If you’re unsure of what signs to look out for to know when your propeller might need changing, read this.
4. Electrical Systems
Another important part of your boat is, of course, the electrical system. Checking this will require ensuring the wiring and lighting are sound, ensuring all batteries are charged, and troubleshooting any technical issues that might have arisen, should you have computer systems on board.
5. Plumbing and HVAC Systems
This step is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. Being stuck aboard a boat without working plumbing or heating is the last thing you want on a family trip or vacation, or any time, for that matter. Clean the air filters, refill or replace the water in the water tank, and ensure the heating system is running without any issues.
6. Safety Gear
Finally, it’s important to ensure all safety gear on board is accounted for and working as it should. Check your flares and fire extinguisher. Inspect your life jackets for any tears or rips, and make sure your first aid kit is fully stocked with everything you might need.
Regular Boat Maintenance Is Responsible Boat Ownership
If you’re a boat owner, then regular boat maintenance should always be a firm part of your routine. No matter how much or how little you get out on the water, safety should always come first.
If you’ve enjoyed this article, check out the rest of our travel and outdoors content.