When stepping into the boating world, you need to remember that maintenance is just as important as the boat itself, especially when it comes down to safety and general operations whilst on the water.
It doesn’t have to be a huge chore, as regular upkeep will make the job easier and less time consuming. Leaving it for months and letting problems accumulate can not only cause long-lasting issues but it will also make the job more difficult.
Follow these six steps for a smoother sail across the waves…
#1 Regularly check the engine
A boat engine has various components that need regular checks, preferably before each trip out. For example the fuel level, the water coolant, the oil reservoir and oil pressure all need to be monitored. Imagine being half way out to sea and running out of fuel - that’s a situation we all want to avoid!
#2 Frequently inspect the propeller
Unfortunately, our beautiful oceans are still being polluted, which means you need to regularly check your propeller for any stuck debris. Look out for fishing wire and plastic waste; should you sail with any of this lodged in your propeller, it could cause dents and other substantial damage.
#3 Check for damage
Before starting the cleaning process, scan the boat for any chips and cracks - ignoring them could make the problem worse. Once you’ve identified any damage, take the necessary action. For example, for a crack in the hull you need to remove any dirt which may have got inside before starting the process of sanding and filling.
#4 Ensure you’re using the right tools and materials
This may seem obvious to some people, but it’s really important to make sure you use the right tools as the wrong ones could cause issues in the future. Your essential tools will most likely consist of a soft bristle brush, a towel, phosphate free boat wash, boat wax and fibreglass polish. Research the specific needs for your particular boat to gain the best results!
#5 Clean in portions
Especially if you’re cleaning a larger boat, it’ll benefit you to work your way around in small sections. Choose a particular area to focus on and rinse, soap, buff and wax before moving onto the next part. Drying in sections is also a good idea because it helps avoid watermarks.
#6 Keep an eye out for corrosion
Any part of the boat that is made of metal has a risk of corroding. If it isn’t dealt with quickly, rust will eventually end up breaking and could cause deterioration, which may not be so easily fixed or replaced. Use naval jelly as a rust inhibitor and hose down the deck after every saltwater voyage.
We hope these top tips help you with your boat maintenance - happy sailing and keep safe on the sea!