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Boat Handling and Maintenance

In life, there aren’t many greater luxuries than owning a boat.

You can take it on holiday with you, explore local waters, or just use it for some good old cruising.

It would be foolish to say that owning a boat doesn’t come without some difficulties, though. This is part and parcel of being a owner. You need to know how to properly navigate through different environments and how to physically maintain throughout the years.

Boat maintenance involves keeping clean and lubricating it properly. You would never like to drive a car without engine oil; the same goes for a boat also. To help all fanatics out there, here’s a short guide on how you efficiently handle and maintain your boat throughout 2021 and beyond!

Use a storage unit

As any fellow owner will tell you, it’s not easy to store them. After all, it’s not like you can fold your boat up and put it in your pocket – they’re big constructions that require careful handling.

Many owners store their boats at local marinas and boatyards, which is a perfectly acceptable choice. However, the only issue here is that this can quickly become a financial burden, as marinas and boatyards aren’t cheap these days.

A better alternative is to use a boat storage unit, where you can safely secure and store your boat out of the water. This will save you time and money, which can then be reinvested into your boat or elsewhere.

So, if you’re planning on going on holiday soon or just need somewhere to permanently store your boat, you should rent a boat storage unit. There are multiple options that you can consider renting for your boat and ensure the safety of the same.

Regularly wax your boat

For many people, their boat is their prized possession. If you feel the same way, you should regularly wax your boat after cleaning it.

This will help to prevent rust (which is a nightmare for boat owners) as well as to maintain the color and design. Therefore, your boat will maintain its visual appeal and future resale value.

Understand your ability as a driver

There are plenty of vast, beautiful seas around the world that are perfect for boat enthusiasts.

Exploration of these seas is very much encouraged, but you must remain conscious of your abilities as a driver. The sea can be a weird and dangerous place – and rough waters can often strike out of nowhere. So, as a boat owner, you need to sail within your limits. If you don’t, you could be putting yourself and your passengers at risk.

So, make sure to stay within your limits and avoid deep, unpredictable areas that are out of your skill zone.

Remember to frequently change the oil

Frequently changing your boat’s engine oil – as well as the filter – will help to keep your boat safe internally, as there will be reduced chances of overheating and other faults.

Flush the engine after every outing

It is important to pay attention to the engine because it is one of the most important parts of the boat. Be it freshwater or saltwater; make sure to flush the engine using fresh water after every outing. This helps in restricting salt crystals and deposits from damaging the internal components. Also, it helps to get rid of the sand, muck, or other crud. In most of the modern outboards, they have in-built freshwater flushing systems, and the process of operating the same is very simple. All you need is to look after the operating manual in case of any doubt.

Take care of the battery

The battery of the boat is the powerhouse or the heart of the boat. Without a battery, the engine will not start, and all the electrical components will also not work. Make sure to take care of the battery and check it at least every year. You should do it more during the boating season.

It is important to note that batteries tend to degrade over time, and this is something that one must never overlook. Get a digital multimeter to check the overall charge of the battery. Also, look for the connections for corrosion. If you need, clean the connectors using a wire brush.

Pull off the propeller and clean the shaft

The propeller of a boat firmly sits on a metal shaft. The shaft can get wrapped in fishing lines, vegetation, as well as general debris from use. Thus, it is important to take off the propeller once or twice in a season and clean it thoroughly. This increases efficiency as well as performance and also adds protection from long-term damage.

Inspect bilge pumps

No matter what boat maintenance tips you follow, if the boat sinks in a lake or ocean, it is irrelevant. Thus, it is important to check the bilge pump, which pumps out the water from the interior of the boat. Between rough seas and extreme weather conditions, these pumps can be the difference between life and death. Just like any other pump, bilges also need regular maintenance.

Make sure to check and test the bilge pump before commencing for a season to ensure that everything is in order. In case of any failure to start the pump, there might be several other electrical complexities. For example, the coming of strange noises might refer to a mechanical issue. It is important to repair faulty parts or replace the entire unit before you take the boat out for a ride.

Conduct safety checks on-deck

The deck of every boat consists of various important features, such as sails and fenders. It’s important that you regularly conduct safety checks on these features prior to every journey.

Also, you need to conduct checks before storage to ensure that no damage takes place. For example, to maintain the sails, they should be dry and clean prior to arriving at your storage facility. If not, they will be more susceptible to wear and tear. Please feel free to share your insights with us below in the comment section.

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