Believe it or not, boats can last your whole lifetime if properly maintained. The phrase “a little goes a long way” is especially true with boat maintenance. As long as you keep up with the little things, you will avoid a lot of the significant repairs needed late in your boat’s life.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to get the most life out of your boat:
1. Clean your boat frequently
This is pretty obvious, but many boat owners don’t clean their boats enough. According to boatingvalley.com, you should clean your boat at least once every two weeks.
We recommend that you clean your boat out of the water; however, you can clean it inside the water if you have to. This link here will send you to an Amazon cart full of everything you’ll need to clean your boat properly. Cleaning your boat involves washing and rinsing every exposed surface with soap and water.
If you cant pull your boat out of the water and the hull is getting dirty, you may need to hire someone to clean it. Although, you can check out this video which teaches you to do it yourself.
2. Rinse your boat and flush the engine after every salt water use
Cleaning your boat is extremely important for saltwater boaters because saltwater corrodes boat material. You don’t always have to use soap, but rinse your boat with fresh water and a de-salter solution after every use. You can get this desalter solution and a hose nozzle to use it by clicking this Amazon link.
Not only will those products work for washing your boat, but they also work for flushing the engine. Flushing your engine with de-salter and fresh water should also be done after every use. If you want to learn how to flush your engine, check out this video.
3. Do proper engine maintenance
Winterizing, oil changes, and flushing saltwater out are the bare minimum engine maintenance that should be done regularly. Oil changes should be done at least once every year.
Some other things to do is check your power trim and tilt fluid. Also, check belts and hoses for tears and cracks. If you want to know more about basic boat maintenance, check out this article here.
4. Cover your boat from the sun
Harmful UV rays from the sun damage your boat. The exterior of your boat has wax layers protecting it from these rays that need to get replaced every year or so. Many people forget that the interior gets affected by UV rays as well.
So if you can, always cover up your boat when you’re not using it. On large boats, you may just be able to cover the interior with windshield blockers or interior covers. If you want to help protect your interior even when the cover is not on, check out this upholstery UV protector on Amazon.
5. Store your boat correctly
Protecting your boat from the elements is the number one thing you can do to ensure it has a long life. Not only will the sun do damage, but dirt, water, and algae will too. So it’s important you store your boat in a way that it will be affected the least.
The three most popular types of boat storage are in the water, indoors, and outdoor shrinkwrap. Indoors is usually the best option but also the most expensive. Shrinkwrapping is a great affordable option (usually 2-4 times cheaper) if you don’t have the money.
7. Protect or replace wood
Wood can last a long time but only if well maintained. Using wood sealer such as this one on Amazon is essential to do every other year or so.
If any wood starts to rot, replace it immediately. Rotten wood is not only gross but it’s also weak.
8. Repair damages as quickly as possible
If you have any motor issues, cracks, scratches, or any issue, it’s best to repair it immediately. This will help ensure that no more damages can incur because of the initial damage.
9. Install fenders on your dock and boat
To avoid any cracks or scratches, make sure you put some cushions on your dock and boat. You can get them by clicking here.
10. Use professional tie-down strategies
Last but not least, make sure you tie down your boat correctly to your dock. You don’t want a storm coming in and breaking your lines causing your boat to crash against your dock.
This video will help teach you all the basics. One thing that I recommend is making sure your lines are long. The longer the line is, the less likely it will snap. One way to do this is to cross your lines.