Whether you love the view of the sea as you sail up the coastline, speeding down your favorite river, or cruising around the local bay, your boat is the key to action and adventure. To keep them shipshape and prevent costly repairs over time, all boats require routine maintenance. If you are new to nautical transportation, here are some answers to common questions to get you started.
The Basics of Boat Maintenance
How Often Do I Need to Wash My Boat?
Wash your freshwater boat about once a month or more depending on how often you use it. Rinse the vessel with a hose following every saltwater excursion to prevent rust and corrosion. If you keep the boat in water, remove or protect metal hardware pieces to stop the spread of rust, especially if it is docked in saltwater. Reapply lubricating sprays and gelcoats for rust protection.
What About Dry Dock?
Take the boat out of the water for dry dock storage to avoid waterlogging issues. Freshwater boats can stay in the water for about 10 years, while saltwater boats are best taken out after one to two years since salt is more damaging. Store your vessel in dry dock for three to six months, so it dries out fully. Add protective gelcoat before using the vehicle again.
What Electrical System Components Need Checking?
Inspect your electrical system every few months. Look at the wiring and terminals for wear and corrosion and all navigation lights. Clean and lubricate the terminals as needed and recharge or replace the batteries. Check that all electronics are functioning normally, the electrical gauges are operational, and that you have plenty of spare bulbs and fuses.
How Do I Maintain My Outboard Motor?
Replace the spark plugs whenever it is necessary, inspect the tank and fuel lines, and check the wires for damage. Other maintenance tips include lubricating all the moving parts and checking for any additional damage. If you are not using the boat but keeping it in water, remove and store the motor to avoid premature corrosion.
What Is the Best Way to Prevent Mold Growth?
Dry out the cabin as much as possible to stop mold development. The combination of cold water and warm cabin air creates a humid environment ideal for mold, so invest in portable dehumidifiers and keep them in the dark corners where mold is most likely to flourish. Clean up any existing mold with white vinegar and air out the boat periodically.
McMillan Marine in Rochester, NY, has served the Finger Lakes and Irondequoit Bay area for 25 years. The marine store offers a variety of new and used boats for sale, including models from top brands such as Yamaha® and Monterey®. This store features a hydraulic trailer and boat ramp, so you can easily get your boat repaired. Call (585) 288-2180 or visit the shop online for more information.