Proper boat maintenance is key to a season of fun and safe boating. Investing time, energy and money in preparing your boat now for the season ahead can help minimize breakdowns and disruptions later in the year. To make sure you get on the water well prepared and safely we made you this boating maintenance checklist.
- Life jackets for everyone on the boat in the right size.
- Fire extinguishers fully charged and stowed in the proper place.
- For any enclosed or semi-enclosed area, ensure you have at least one properly installed and working carbon monoxide detector.
- Lifelines or rails in good condition.
- Stanchions or pulpit securely mounted.
- Hardware tight and sealed at deck.
- Grab rails secure and free of corrosion or snags that may catch your hands.
- Non-skid surfaces free from accumulated dirt or excess wear.
The hull and propellers
- Inspect propellers for dings, pitting, cracks and distortion.
- Make sure the propeller is secured properly, and replace bearings when needed.
- When inspecting the hull, look for blisters, distortions and cracks. Be sure to clean the hull, deck, and topsides using an environmentally safe cleaning solution. You can get rid of heavy wear by using a rotating blaster.
- Anchor on board and stowed for quick accessibility.
- Anchor and rode adequate for your boat and bottom conditions.
- Is the anchor chain long enough?
- Thimble on rode and safety wired shackles.
- Chafing gear at chocks for extended stays or storm conditions.
Engine & related stuff
- Inspect all electrical connections for clean, tight, corrosion free connections.
- Charge your battery and have it tested to ensure it can hold a charge.
- Check all fluid levels including engine oil, power steering, power trim reservoirs and coolant.
- Be sure to change the engine oil, oil filter and drive lubricants if you haven’t done this before winter stop.
Coating and looks
Sureley, this might not look like the most important item on this boat maintenance checklist, but nontheless you might want to read this.
Not only does a nice coating and some fresh paint make your boat look nicely, it also slightly enhances boat performance. Algae, tar, epoxy and other pollutions can decrease the speed of your boat on the water. Also, when rust on a boat isn’t handled, over time it can cause damage to the hull of the boat, exposing it to greater risks. Therefore, make sure you clean your boat when doing your boating maintenance, get rid of dirt, rust, epoxy and old gelcoating and paint and make sure to coat the boat again. You can use a rotating disk to get rid of most of these pollutions, without the help of a professional.
We also wrote an article about cleaning your boat hull the right way. Make sure to check this out!
Have a nice boating season!
Whether you’re a fisherman or enjoy sunny days with family and friends on the water: This boat maintenance list should prepare you for a new boating season. Be safe and have fun on the water!