Posted: 31 Jan 2012 03:21 AM PST
Owning a boat comes with the added responsibility of maintenance and upkeep. Practicing some preventive maintenance now can save you from having to shell out a lot of money later when your neglect catches up to you.
Casey takes great care of his boat, motor and trailer, hey it's part of the family. There is always a double check before launching and again before leaving.
These are the top 5 tips to caring for your boat
1. Complete Basic Cleaning After Every Trip
Your boat will look and work its best if you do a few things every time you take it out. If you are a saltwater fisherman, you need to rinse your boat's motor with fresh water every time you bring it home from a fishing trip. Hose down the outside of the boat with fresh water. This will keep the salt from building up and getting caught in your motor or ruining your paint job. Wipe up any spills inside and put away your supplies, so your boat is tidy and ready for your next trip.
2. Clean The Fuel Tank
Although it is not the prettiest job, cleaning your boat's fuel tank periodically is important to prevent fuel clogs. Take out the fuel hose and put a clear hose of the same diameter into the hole. After removing the gas cap, position an air compressor in the opening and use it to drive all of the gas and gunk through your clear hose into a bucket. Pour three gallons of gas into the tank and repeat the process to make sure you flush everything out before putting your fuel hose back in and refilling the tank.
3. Perform Regular Visual Inspections
If you know how your boat is supposed to look when everything is working right, you will be able to notice any small problems just by performing quick visual inspections on a regular basis. Look through every part of your boat, keeping an eye out for chipped materials, fraying ropes, loose fittings, and anything else out of the ordinary that needs fixing.
4. Check Your Battery
If you rely on a battery to start your boat, check it regularly to ensure it is in good working condition. Charge the battery whenever you notice it is getting low, so you won’t get stuck out in the water if it dies. Check the fluid levels as well, and keep the battery clean and dry for top performance.
5. Clean Your Boat Thoroughly Before Winter
Although it seems counterproductive because you won't actually be using your boat for several months, it is important to clean your boat before you store it for the winter. This keeps the dirt and grime from settling onto the boat during the winter and allows you to just do a quick clean before taking it out for the first time next spring. In addition, fill your gas tank completely before storing it for the winter. After readying your boat, take it out of the water and store it in a climate-controlled environment for the winter.
By being proactive, your boat will last longer and be more likely to run smoothly when you take it out. In addition, if you are new to boat ownership and unsure about the mechanics, take your boat to a professional at least once a year for an inspection and to get recommendations on maintenance.
Maire hails from the Windy City, enjoys going fishing with her father in the summertime, and has two dogs – a Scottish terrier named Pete and a dachshund hound named Edgar.
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