How to maintain a boat

02 September 2014

Many people dream of owning their own boat, whether they’re experienced on water or not. The fresh air, the scenery and the sense of freedom are all tempting factors. However, the reality is that owning a boat can be exhausting and costly. Before you splash out, be aware that boats need plenty of regular attention and proper TLC to run smoothly and be safe at sea. You’ll also need adequate boat insurance, because if anything breaks or goes wrong with your vehicle, the costs can seriously mount up.

1. Clean your boat regularly
A basic, but important rule to ensure your boat stays in good shape. Purchasing cleaning equipment and formulas especially designed for boats will make life easier. And, if you’ve been in salt water, it’s essential to wash your boat down with fresh water to remove residues that can build up.

2. Check your propeller often
If you cruise in busy waters, you’re at risk of fishing lines getting caught around your propeller. Left, they can become very hard to remove and cause mechanical problems. Remove your propeller several times a year and also check for any dents or damage that might lead to costly repairs down the line.

3. Get an annual service
Have your boat inspected by a professional specialist every year and ensure they check the following:

  • Engine
  • Fuel system
  • Oil
  • Water pump
  • Electrics
  • Battery
  • Propeller

4. Before setting off
It’s essential to check off a list before you head out to ensure maximum boat safety. Check your navigation lights, clean bilges, the bilge pump is working, the bungs aren’t worn and test that the gears aren’t stiff.

Owning a boat can bring huge enjoyment to the family, but it comes with rules and responsibilities that will make your trips safer and ultimately more pleasurable. Make sure you understand the amount of time and money your boat requires before making your purchase decision, including boat insurance in case anything does go awry.

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