What is Basic Maintenance For a Boat?

Whether boating is all new to you or you have spent a lifetime on the water, basic maintenance for a boat is a must for both the boat’s longevity and your safety. 

Just as you care for your automobile at routine intervals, your boat needs some care, too. Be sure to understand the recommendations for your vessel — and, if you aren’t sure what you are doing, leave the maintenance work up to the professionals. 

A Checklist For Routine Care For Your Boat

Every time you head out on your boat, there are a few things you can do to provide some basic care. This will keep your vessel healthy and ensure you always have a safe, fun time out on the water. 

Check Your Engine Oil 

Your engine oil is essential for a thriving engine. You should always check your engine’s oil before you venture out. Consider getting an oil change about every 50 to 100 hours of use.

Check the Propeller and Skeg

Both the propeller and the skeg are vital parts of the boat to get you moving and to allow you to steer properly. You want to check both of these to ensure that they are not damaged before you go very far. 

Inspect Your Hoses

Your boat’s hoses are made of rubber and can be jeopardized over time as they become brittle and crack. Always look them over to ensure they are in whole, working order. 

Check Bilge Pump

Turn on your bilge pump and wait a few seconds for it to activate. This will allow you to visibly see that it is working to pump out water. If the pump is off, you can test to see if it is working by easily rotating the impeller by hand. 

Test Your Battery

You don’t want your battery to die or have to replace it more than necessary. And since your battery can typically be recharged as long as it is above 20%, you will want to check it regularly. 

Inspect Your Electrical System

Any electronics and accessories that you have onboard the boat, including lights. This should always be done before going out on the water. Give them a quick test or use a voltmeter if necessary to make sure they are running effectively. 

Wash the Hull and Deck 

After each outing, clean the exterior of your boat to protect it from rust and erosion. Keep your boat looking great for years to come. 

A Guide to Routine Maintenance 

Aside from quick checks before heading out, regular maintenance for each vessel is important. 

Follow the general guidelines below to see what type of maintenance should be performed — and how often. To ensure proper care, turn to a professional. 

Every 50 to 100 hours, you will want to have the following maintenance performed: 

  • Change engine oil
  • Inspect the propeller and skeg
  • Check vents for blockages
  • Confirm proper engine temperatures
  • Check oil pressure
  • Inspect your gearcase
  • Inspect the fuel lines
  • Replace your fuel
  • Check power trim/tilt fluid
  • Review your engine mount
  • Re-lubricate grease points
  • Inspect bolts
  • Check spark plugs
  • Replace the water pump impeller
  • Inspect steering fluid and the steering itself
  • Check the hull for any signs of damage

The better you care for your boat, the longer it will last for you. Find a boat maintenance professional near you to make this routine care much easier. 

Pace Marine Technology of Cocoa, Florida provides boat repair and boat maintenance services to those in central and south Florida, offering 24/7 emergency dockside service. A lifetime of boating and decades of experience providing marine service to all types of vessels.